A Thermal Chimney is a heating and cooling design element that’s been utilized for centuries. It’s based off of a simple principal – hot air raises. Every D. Martin Homes is built with a Thermal Chimney, an enclosure that is the highest part of the home.
Sun rays bouncing off of a wall or shining through a window causes the air inside the home to convect or 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.