Passive solar heating entails a collection of diverse building designs that can permit the generation and use of solar energy. It is crucial for one to consider a building design during the initial installation of solar panels. This is critical in understanding the potential of any building to give a considerable amount of energy. In addition, larger buildings can generate more solar energy. This paper examines the potential of using passive and active solar power on the Hayward Campus for the Student Services and Administration Building and Science Building, North Wing.
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Student Services and Administration Building
The building has a great potential of using passive and active solar power because of its design and orientation. The building can accommodate a solar photovoltaic system in its roofs and walls. The building lies directly in the solar access zone without any obstruction thus escalating its potential. The building is facing south. The absence of trees eliminates the effects of shading. The grey and blue color of the building can increase the performance of solar panels since they fall within the photovoltaic absorption range, which is 0.5 through to 0.7. The construction materials used in the building include glass, metal siding, and concrete. The materials are crucial for passive solar heating because they absorb sunlight and release heat slowly. Furthermore, the concrete can help in increasing thermal storage capacity.
In addition, the building has its windows located everywhere. This does not limit the performance of the solar panels. Notably, solar panel installation can focus on the windows facing south. The building has approximately 100 windows. Passive solar heating can work with small size panels with proper electrical connections. The windows have cannot present any challenges since they are not opened. Furthermore, they have a high-energy efficient glass. The installation of solar panels can cover the windows because they are also protected from sunlight. The building has two double doors. The doors can ensure an airtight seal to prevent the loss of accumulated heat. The building has both interior and exterior doors that can ensure adequate internal circulation of heat.
Science Building, North Wing
It is notable that the building can accommodate a solar photovoltaic system. However, the building has a lower potential for passive or active solar heating. The building faces north and does not have an ideal direction for solar installation. Positioning the photovoltaic cells in a north – northwest direction may improve the performance of the installed panels. The color of the building is beige particularly because of the bricks. The color might absorb solar heat and store it for some time. However, the fact that the building faces north might reduce the ability for heat absorption.
Furthermore, the building has tall trees. This will increase the shading effect on the building thus reducing its ability to accommodate solar panels on the walls. The building has approximately 624 small windows that must be opened for air circulation. This can also reduce the chances of installing large solar panels on the walls. The windows are located on all sides of the building and are not protected from sunlight. This indicates that positioning solar panels on the walls to cover the windows might affect the aesthetic quality of the house. There are ten doors located in the interior and exterior sections of the building. The doors can escalate the rate of heat circulation facilitating its loss. Furthermore, the building has bricks, which may act as thermal storage. However, the fact that less heat absorption can take place in the building drastically limits its potential for passive solar heating.