How to Design Solar House Plans

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Orientation is important because the earth’s axis is tilted. This means that during winter, in the Northern Hemisphere, the sunlight comes from the south.

Position your house to take advantage of this fact, you can maximize your sunlight during winter.

A good advice principle is placing rooms for morning and afternoon light. If you bedroom faces East, you will get the first rays of the sun.

A dining room that faces West will receive afternoon light. A kitchen that has windows to the West and South will receive afternoon sun during winter.

The floor gradually heats up during the day. As it has a high specific heat, the slab takes some time to heat up, but once it is warm, it stays warm for many hours. It radiates this heat back into the room during the night. This technique is also known as a thermal heat sink.

This same technique can be used on insulated floor slabs and walls.

The tiled floor heats up, and radiates the heat out as longwave radiation. Most of the longwave radation is reflected back into the room by the glass, keeping the heat trapped inside.

A conservatory like this will be a very warm and sunny place during the day. During the night, the floor will stay warm for several hours, but a lot of heat will be lost through the glass. Therefore, many houses with conservatories either shut them off from the main house during the night to prevent heat loss, or have blinds or curtains to insulate the glass, reducing heat loss.

It’s important to place windows not only for the view, but for sunlight as well. In everyday living, people will seek out a sunny spot over a shady spot with a view.

When planning your window placement, use the principles of orientation. Windows on the southern border get winter sun. The thing to consider is that windows loose more heat the walls. A lot more. So if you place large windows on the northern side (for example to capture a northern view) you will lose a lot of heat from these windows.)

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