Passive Solar Techniques: #SolarMOOC Lecture with Ms. MOOC

Embracing the old-school method: you don’t pay for the energy you don’t use

On Thursday January 24th at 6PM Central, SolPowerPeople Director of Education and Training Services Sarah Raymer will present a one hour lecture on Passive Solar Design as part of the #SolarMOOC (Solar Massive Open Online Course). The #SolarMOOC Academy offers a free learning platform on advanced solar photovoltaic concepts and is open to anyone and everyone world-wide. This lecture will step outside the normal scope of the #SolarMOOC to explore passive solar design – the age old art of maximizing the sun’s potential with methods that require little other than thoughtful practice and design.

Historically speaking, ancient cities were built around the sun with a southern orientation in order to collect the suns warmth throughout the day and survive in colder climates. The Greek city of Priene built in 300 BC and the famous Anasazi cliff dwellings beautiful examples of architecture that maximized the sun’s potential for creating comfort.  Prience citizens laid claim to ‘solar rights’ – if you blocked their sun, there were legal ramifications. The Anasazi built in harmony with their cliff-site shelter, designed their homes recessed under the cliff allowing the sun reach them in the winter, but offering shelter against it in the summer.

passive solar

In modern architecture, we have grown incredibly too far from this philosophy- it’s almost like we forgot something essential, like how to cook our food or tie our shoes.  With modern technologies like electrical heating and cooling, we are allowed to overlook the innate possibilities of using the sun’s energy. We build the same home in the Florida that we would build in Michigan and complain about high heating and cooling costs. This isn’t just an individual economic concern, but a concern that affects the entire world.  Population will continue to grow, and the more ‘dumb’ buildings we create, the less sustainable our lives will become.  High cost for the homeowner or renter is just the impact we feel immediately. The true concern is where is the energy coming from to power our heating, cooling, and lighting devices?  What is its impact, or should we say- what is our impact?   Buildings represent 32% – 40% of all energy cosumption, and that is used to supply heating, cooling, and lighting.

passive solarWith smart building techniques and designs we can fill our homes and places of work with natural light, creating a more healthy and inspiring environment. Architecture should benefit from that which humans discovered ages ago: that we have a natural and free source of heat and light above us every day- we just have to be intelligent about using it.

Join Sarah Raymer, SolPowerPeople Director of Education and Training Services, on Thursday as she presents a lecture on passive solar techniques.  This free one hour #SolarMOOC lecture will give a brief introduction to passive solar techniques including  how to design overhangs for windows to provide maximum light and solar gain year round effectively and efficiently, use of insulation vs. thermal mass, and site specific design considerations.
As a #SolarMOOC participant you will receive an invitation to join this lecture live, or you may register and join (with the password 9999) though Webex.

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