Essentially, economic considerations led Architects and building developers to seek alternatives to the conventional fossil fuel sources of energy. Today equal emphasis is placed on the ecological necessity for change by means of energy conscious constructions.

what is solar Architecture?

Solar Architecture is an architectural approach that takes in account of the sun to harness clean and renewable solar power.

components of solar Architecture

  • Energy balance of buildings ; Solar energy is availiable free of charge to every building. unfotunately , in many climatic areas solar radiation is very low, so that is the reason for other forms of energy to be a must-used for room heating, hot water, lighting and for the operation of electrical appliances. The greatest energy losses from a building arise duo to the conduction of heat through windows, walls, ceilings and roofs.
  • Considerations of energy conscious construction; There are three fundamental points which lead to a considerable reduction in the energy requirement of a domestic building: (1) Reduction of heat losses (2) Increase in energy saving through the use of solar radiation (3) Conscious efforts by users to improve the energy balance. The choice of building location itself can reduce the heat losses from a building. Within a small area in a region, conditions will vary; example. wind and temperature conditions vary with the altitude of a building site. Relatively favourable microclimatic conditions result on south-facing slopes when the area of ground is situated on the upper third of the slope but away from the crest of the hill. The shape of the building plays an important role in terms of energy conscious construction. The outer surface of the building is in direct contact with the external climate and gives up valuable energy to the outside air. The design of the building should ensure that the smallest possible external surface is presented to the outside air in relation to the volume of the building. The shape to be aimed for is a cube, although a hemisphere is the ideal case. However, this ideal assumption applies only to a detached house.
  • organisation of the ground plan; In the passive utilisation of solar energy, the heat is utilised through direct incident radiation and heat storage in specific structural components such as walls and floors. Because of the conditions under which solar energy is used passively, the arrangement of the ground plan necessarily follows a particular logical layout. The continuously used living and sleeping area should be south-facing and provided with large window areas. It is useful to provide glazed structures in these living and sleeping areas. There are three important reasons for this: (1) Extension of the living area. (2) Gain in solar energy (3) Provision of a thermal buffer zone . The little- used low-temperature unheated rooms, with low naturallight requirement should be north-facing . They act as a buffer zone between the warm living area and the cold outside climate.
  • use of solar energy: In the use of solar energy, a distinction is drawn between the active and passive use of solar energy. The active use of solar energy necessitates the application of equipment such as solar collectors, pipework,collector vessels circulation pumps for the transfer of the solar energy . This system entails large investment and maintenance costs which must be recovered solely by saving in the cost of energy as a result, such systems cannot be operated economically in single family houses.

The passive use of solar energy necessitates the use of specifc structural components as heat stores, such as walls, ceilings and glazed units. The efficiency of this system depends on specific factors: (1) Climatic conditions; mean monthly temperature, solar geometry and incident solar radiation, hours of sunshine and level of incident energy radiation (2) Method of using the solar energy ; indirect useage,direct useage (3) Choice of materials; absorption capability of the surface and heat storage capability of the materials.

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