Passive Solar

Passive Solar is a technique that employs a┬ácombination of design features such as roof overhangs, awnings, windows, walls and foundation to collect, store or distribute solar energy. For example, an extended roof overhang on a southern-facing wall will shade most of that wall during the summer when the sun is more overhead, keeping the interior of the home much cooler. During the winter the awning shades very little of the wall because the sun is lower in the sky, closer to the horizon, allowing direct sunlight to shine against most of the wall and even in through the windows, heating the home’s interior.

Passive Solar can also utilize low-powered electrical or mechanical devices to re-direct solar energy, as does a Thermal Chimney, a solar design used for centuries. Every D. Martin Homes is built with a Thermal Chimney, an enclosure that is the highest part of the home. Sun shining through a window causes the air inside to convect or to circulate. Warmer air raises and collects in the Thermal Chimney while cooler air falls to ground level, completing the circulation.

During the summer the Thermal Chimney helps keep the home cool by exhausting this hot air through the use of a low-powered fan in combination with electrically opened louvers and awning windows. During the winter, the fan reverses and redirects the warm air back to the ground floor. These devices simply enhance the passive solar effect and can usually be powered by a photovoltaic panel making the entire system solar activated. This is an example of combining Passive and Active Solar capabilities.

The key to maximizing a home’s passive solar potential is knowing specifics about the climate, the sun data and foliage information at the home’s building site. Even before the design begins an extensive site study is first conducted to consider these factors as all D. Martin homes are positioned to exact geographic coordinates to insure that all solar features function as expected.

No matter the location, a D. Martin Home will always be precisely placed to take full advantage of the available solar energy.