Passive Solar Design Techniques
with Sarah Raymer, A.K.A. Ms. MOOC

PowerPoint Presentation

On January 24th, 2012, Sarah Raymer, A.K.A. Ms. Mooc presented a lecture on Passive Solar Design and Techniques.
Several of the links below were mentioned in the lecture, and several are just incredible brain food that tie back to the lecture.  Feel free to email Ms. MOOC with any questions you have about lecture content or passive solar design at:

Feed Your Brain: This in an icredible resource on Passive Solar design based out of New Zealand.

A question came up during the Q & A at the end of the lecture in regards to hemispheres.

Do you reverse everything in the Southern Hemisphere from how you would design in the Northern Hemisphere?

The answer is : Yes, pretty much. For example…

In the Northern Hemisphere we design with South in mind: for example, we place our windows and rooms thoughtfully in order to maximize solar gain for heating and natural light on the South side of the building.  In New Zealand, the design is opposite so that you are designing for a sun that is in the Northern sky.  Notice on the map (click to enlarge)  that Priene, Greece and Texas, USA are both in the Northern Hemisphere, and New Zealand is pretty far below the equator in the Southern Hemisphere.

passive solar

The page  below from the website illustrates a design oriented towards the North.  In New Zealand, the sun still rises in the East as it does everywhere else- but it’s in the Northern sky.

That means that if you were to incorporate a covered area (porch)  from which you could watch the sunset it would be best placed on the Northwestern corner of the house rather than the Southwestern corner.

 passive solar

New Mexico Solar Energy Association

This webpage is full of great core information about passive solar design.

Here you can find information on many of the things covered in the January 24th #SolarMOOC lecture and more including thermal storage walls (Trombe Walls), greenhouses and sunspaces

Sustainable by Design

Overhang Calculator

Get a visual of where the shade will be on your window based on it’s height and width and the length and height of your overhang.

Overhang Annual Analysis

Get a visual annual analysis of your overhang design results and email it to yourself.


Permies: Forums, Articles, Videos, Podcasts

Brain candy for those who love the Earth and the power of nature.

This is where I found the how-to manual mode of overhang shade calculation.


Build It Solar: The Renewable Energy Site for Do-It-Yourselfers

If you like to play with the computer or if you are an Appazoid (one who is crazy about apps)- check this one out! It is full of online tools for sun  positioning and solar design.  I’m not sure how they will work with your smart phone if you’ve got one, but if it’s phone-apps you are looking for look up Sun Surveyor or Sun Seeker.  They are a lot of fun!


Trimble SketchUp

See the shadows created by the sun on a structure in a 3-D visual software platform for free.


Sun Tempered Architecture

A Simple Design Methodology for Passive Solar Design Houses

This is Dennis Holloway’s website page on passive solar design. It is beautiful and very informing about methods as well as the history of passive solar design.

Brain Power Crunch

Do you have a question or something to share in regard to passive solar design and techniques?  Please take part in our forum discussion Passive Solar Design in the new #SolarMOOC Academy Forum.

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