The type of windows you have will make a difference in how well the windows perform in an efficient, passive solar home.
We have a passive solar house in northern New Mexico and we need to replace our 19 4'x6′ clerestory windows. We seem to have the choice between clear glass double pane windows, or Low E windows with an SHGC of .29 and a U factor of .31.
Nov 26, 2009 · Passive solar works great but controlling it has always been the issue. The new windows don't have water but a gel substance for mass reducing the risk of freezing and the issues with long term storage of water.
Alpen High Performance Products is listening to the Passive House community and focused on providing innovative solutions best suited to meet the varying needs of Passive House projects throughout North America. Alpen high performance windows are domestically manufactured with shorter lead times than other Passive House window options.
Southern facing windows (southern solar glazing) are a vital component for a passive solar design and building. Because the southern side of the building is the side that will potentially receive sunlight throughout the day, most passive solar buildings will feature glass dominating the southern side.
Therefore, a passive solar home has the highest percentage of windows is on the south side. The sun warms the home in the winter, and shading devices, such as overhangs, are designed to block the sun in the summer months to reduce the amount of cooling necessary.
Each layer of glass and low-e coating will decrease the solar gain, but will also increase heat lost through the window. Some people use windows without low-e coatings for solar gain. The better window companies will use specific coatings for windows intended for solar gain vs thermal retention. There are trade-offs for all the options.
Indirect Gain (Trombe Wall) An indirect-gain passive solar home has its thermal storage between the south-facing windows and the living spaces. The most common indirect-gain approach is a Trombe wall. The wall consists of an 8-inch to 16-inch thick masonry wall on the south side of a house.
The major expanse of windows in a passive solar structure will be south facing solar windows. Design planning should include considerations such as the impact of heat gain in the summer, views, natural lighting, and privacy requirements. For the most part, keep window on …