Passive Solor heating - skylights or eve windows

SteveASteveA Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
I'm designing an off grid barn for winter storage use. I want it to be about 45-50 F in in during the winter when it's 20 F outside. assuming i have radiante floor in the slab and well insulated structure, what is better for passive gain? Skylights or side / eve windows. It will be unmanned and remote so security of standard windows is a negative that we don't want to introduce. We will orient the long wall of the barn due south to optimize the passive solar gain.



  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Passive Solor heating - skylights or eve windows

    Depends entirely on y our latitude, roof pitch ec. In gneral, wall orientation gives greater solar gain, while at the same time has lower lose over night. Calculate your sun angle at the time of the year that is critical and decide of proper orientation. Also considear solar gain during the summer and decide i too much gain in the summer. Eave length can Effectively shade in the summer, while giving gain in the winter.

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Passive Solor heating - skylights or eve windows

    Just my opinion but ...

    The angle of the sun makes a big difference.

    If I were to install skylights up here at Lat. 52, they'd produce a lot of heat in the Summer when you don't want it and practically nil in the Winter when you do.
    Meanwhile, the large South-facing windows I do have provide considerable solar gain in Winter. On those occasions when the sun deems to shine. They also produce solar gain in Summer, without direct sun. I'm thinking of adding some exterior shutters or at least awnings to try and keep that down.

    Have a look at BuildItSolar for lots of ideas about passive solar applications. You may even want to consider an actual solar heater install instead of just windows.
  • SteveASteveA Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Passive Solor heating - skylights or eve windows

    Great, thanks for the quick input. It sounds like eve windows it is. We are in the adirondacks of NY at about 1600 feet of elevation.

    Thanks for the link Coot
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,082 admin
    Re: Passive Solor heating - skylights or eve windows

    I like the idea of building a solar collector on your outside wall... Glass, corrugated fiberglass, etc.) with a vent to the room behind it at bottom and top... Lets the air circulate from the room trough the panel, back into the room. You can also close off the vents when it is too hot... Or one person place a very light weight sheet of plastic on the outlet vent that acted like a check valve and only let warm air into the room.

    Something like this...

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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