Solar energy is an environmental friendly renewable source of energy that can be used for several purposes. Passive solar energy is an important source of energy for buildings. Passive solar techniques use a steady supply of solar energy through properly designed buildings and the orientation of windows. The term passive is applied to indicate that no additional mechanical equipment is required to supply solar energy or use it for any purpose.
Passive solar energy is basically used for heating and cooling buildings.
Passive solar heating occurs when the solar energy passes through a window, hits an object and gets absorbed. This absorbed solar energy gets converted to heat. Once the heat is available, well insulated and air tight buildings prevent its loss and keep the buildings warm. The heat can be distributed to be used for several purposes through various techniques.
Solar passive cooling can be used to reduce the air conditioning needs of buildings by a significant margin. Buildings requiring passive solar cooling are well designed with shading devices or specially glazed windows. These reduce the amount of solar radiations and heat from solar energy that reaches the buildings. The amount of solar radiations can also be reduced by generating air flows through convection ventilators.
All passive solar techniques use building elements like walls, windows, floors, roofs and landscaping to control the heat generated by solar radiations.
Passive solar energy has a number of advantages. These include simplicity and cost effectiveness. Also this is an efficient means of using solar energy. With passive solar energy, buildings can be designed elegantly and with the optimum utilization of building material.