Passive Solar Heating – Glass is all you need

Zero Energy Design® abundant, clean, free-fuel, passive solar energy can easily eliminate the need to burn expensive dirty fossil fuels to heat air and water in most populated locations. The lowest-cost way to get started is Passive Solar Design – All it needs is well-designed, properly-oriented glass. Two our our key Zero Energy Design® concepts are: (1) Isolated Solar Gain in a greenhouse / solarium, and (2) Our unique Thermal Buffer Zone, which uses free natural convection air flow to move warm air from the sunny greenhouse to the cold opposite side of the building. By Larry Hartweg See more details on our ZeroEnergyDesign and PassiveSolarInfo websites.

25 thoughts on “Passive Solar Heating – Glass is all you need”

  1. See our Zero Energy Design®
    “Affordable, Low-Energy, Low-Income Housing” detailed design material on our ZED CD-ROM

  2. Sure. The basic south-facing Salt Box has been built in New England since before 1645. See “Saltbox” in Wikipedia.

  3. Great and informative video.

    If only more people got interested to stop those CO2 gasses to ruin the environment.

    In Mexico there is a big shortage of water, however, if most people had a rainwatercollector to use rainwater to flush toilets – the shortage would disappear immediately.

    I have a simple solar water heater that saves up to 50% of my gas use, another CO2 reducer.

    Simple solutions to simple problems, the point is, people do not think about them.

    Regards from Mexico

  4. Skylights allow high sun in to create a solar furnace in the summer, while reflecting 47-degree lower sun in the winter. In stark contrast, wind-powered rooftop turbine vents exhaust hot air in the summer, and then have a positive-seal dampler that closes when the Thermal Buffer Zone cools down – VERY Different indeed.

  5. Our pool is NOT “in the house” Its isolated in its solarium. Its typically only used an hour a day. The rest of the time its sealed with a cover that blocks evaporation. When the solarium temperature rises, fresh air comes in at the base of the ZED Thermal Buffer Zone through two 100′-long 6′-deep earth cool tubes. Hot air and humidity exhaust out the top through 3 turbine vents that total 7200 CFM. When the poolroom cools, the vents seal – Simple, easy, well-thought 1979 ZED solutions.

  6. Keep the heat storage source separate and sealed – swimming pools in the house are nothing but trouble.

  7. i meant the ones he has on top of the roof?
    they are sort of like a skylight which he says are bad

  8. I would venture to say 99% of al houses in the United States have roof vents. Have you ever been in the attic of a house? there is a ridge vent, the eaves are open vents, and there are sometimes peak vents on either end of the house.
    You would never want to seal a house completely. Moisture buildup would cause the wood decking of most roofs to rot so you must allow venting. Its common building practices.

  9. ducksaregreat15

    Smart design = savings and good living. I grew up in a solar passive home and loved it. Such simple technology is awesome.

  10. the sun is going to be angled to shine into the window more then it in going to be strait up and down

  11. imma build my house with this stuff

    big south windows
    small south widows

    pine trees in the north
    maple type trees in the front (doesnt heat in in the summer but does in the winter)

    thermal mass in the basement

    all that stuff
    its gunna be great

  12. roof vents sound like a problem in the winter.. how do you seal such a thing???

  13. ZeroEnergyDesign

    How does any plant receive sunshine through any southern window? Roof angled glass is a thermal disaster summer and winter – See our website.

  14. during the winter the travels a much lower arc in the sky , wall windows are much more important in winter than cieling glass . in summer the plants can go outside , and the wall glass will not allow as much light in due to the suns higher arc of travel . keeps summer heat out=lower air conditioning cost. =)

  15. This seems pretty good. However, if you say you can use a greenhouse on the south side, but you don’t allow cieling glass, how will the plants get enough sunshine during the winter?

  16. Thanks for spreading the word about passive solar…what the
    f ck could be easier for people? Keep up the good work…you are a hero.

  17. That sounds good for us, but bad for the world corporations that would want to monopolize on such knowledge.

  18. ZeroEnergyDesign

    SIP’s are cost-effective, good insulation and infiltration barrier. We recommend AGAINST wasWOOD OSB and plywood due to: (1) need for toxic termite treatments, and (2) formaldehyde. Use Concrete-board SIP’s. There are lawsuits against FEMA for the 143,000 trailers for disaster victims with high formaldehyde levels from OSB, particle board cabinets / furniture, carpets, etc. Taxpayers will pay billions in health damage settlements. The European Union made ALL formaldehyde products ILLEGAL.

  19. Do you have more data on this problem, for i’ve done a lot of research by talking to 2 green architects and also visited a 3000sft strawbale home on a tour. This wasn’t their biggest issue here in Nv.. Finding qualified people seem more of their issues. I’m also looking at SIP walls if this doesn’t work out for me thou but i really want those deep windows, alcoves, etc… thanks!

  20. ZeroEnergyDesign

    Patented by E. Morse 1881, revived by F. Trombe 1960’s. Massive wall covered with glass. Serious Flaws: Blocks daylight and views through the glass. SLOWS solar heating in the morning. Concentrates afternoon heat on the warm side – does NOT heat cold side. At night, high temperature thermal mass next to glass = high heat loss. Significant summer heat problems to deal with. This flawed design is still referenced by out-of-date passive solar design texts, without sufficient critical analysis.

  21. ZeroEnergyDesign

    Thank you for the positive response, but, we strongly recommend against the use of strawbale construction, due to many pests, unhealthy mold, etc., and the need for toxic pesticides that can find their way into your home.

  22. Thank you so much, Im looking for this kind of information because Im getting a social work policy practice degree and dont know what to try doing with it yet, this is so awesome!

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