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Thermal comfort in a passive solar building

James, G., Anda, M., Ho, G. and Mathew, K. (2004) Thermal comfort in a passive solar building. In: World Renewable Energy Congress VIII, 29 August - 3 September, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Abstract

The Subiaco Sustainable Demonstration Home (SSDH) is a collaborative effort between a local council and the building industry to create a house that uses fewer resources than normally built homes during its construction, use, and eventual demolition. The home will be used to educate the public on the benefits of integrating environmental design and construction techniques in the building of residential houses, which can also be applied in industrial or commercial situations. The house has been designed using Passive Solar principles, so should remain thermally comfortable inside for most of the year, without the need of active heating or cooling systems. Monitoring the thermal performance of the building is integral to the project to prove that there are benefits, both in living conditions and energy minimisation, to applying passive solar principles at the design stage. The house has a grid-interactive photovoltaic array, and if operated properly, should be a net energy exporter to the main grid. Monitoring will include the measurement of air temperature and relative humidity in the building to prove that the interior remains within established thermal comfort levels. Preliminary results are being collected, with more comprehensive data available mid-2004. Computer modelling of the building indicates that it will have low energy use compared to other comparably designed houses. SEDO (Sustainable Energy Development Office) rated 50 different house designs using the NatHERS energy modelling software and the SSDH performed the best in 11 of 28 different climate zones (SEDO, 2004), indicating the design could be replicated in other parts of the country. The SSDH is not a perfect passive solar design, but should still be able to remain thermally comfortable throughout the year without the need for mechanical cooling or heating.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental Technology Centre
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/21618
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