Paper Conference

Proceedings of eSim 2014: 8th Conference of IBPSA-Canada


Feasible upper boundaries of passive solar space heating fraction potentials by climate zone

Ted Kesik, William O’Brien

Abstract: Advances in energy modeling tools and techniques have caused passive solar design guidelines from a previous generation to be superceded by simulation. The ability to model building energy behaviour, heat transfer between multiple zones within a dwelling, and consider the effects of thermal mass and/or phase change materials, along with a variety of shading devices, has shed new light on passive solar energy utilization for space heating. In particular, the ability to accurately model the thermal and optical responses of high performance window technologies has uncovered new possibilities for solar apertures and feasible boundaries of passive solar space heating fraction potentials. This paper presents a methodology for assessing the feasible upper solar energy utilization boundary for the passive heating of houses, not as a replacement for simulation, but as a helpful guideline to designers, energy code authorities and utilities. For a particular climate zone and building geometry, the methodology can be employed to derive a range of building enclosure characteristics including: opaque component U-values; window and glazing U-values / solar heat gain coefficients, south-facing window-to-wall ratios, thermal mass levels, solar heat gain distribution rates and shading device placement and operating schedules. It can also inform decision makers involved in housing energy policy, the planning of subdivisions for new communities, and the design of housing typologies. By being able to determine the feasible upper boundary of passive solar space heating potential, the relative utilization of solar energy resources can be assessed for proposed policies, planning guidelines and house designs. This will hopefully promote informed decision making about solar buildings. Unlike methodologies that involve the optimization of multiple parameters, this paper examines a methodology aimed at establishing feasible upper boundaries for a single parameter - passive solar heating potential - informed, but not constrained, by thermal comfort considerations. This methodology contributes to the design of net-zero energy homes by minimizing the space heating energy use, thereby minimizing the need for supplemental renewable energy sources. It may also contribute to the passive survivability of dwellings. 1
Pages: 370 - 383