Chapter 13

Building Heating: Active

Heat for comfort in buildings can be provided from solar energy by systems that are similar in many respects to the water heater systems described in Chapter 12. The two most common heat transfer fluids are water (or water and antifreeze mixtures) and air, and systems based on each of these are described in this chapter. The basic components are the collector, storage unit, and load (i.e., the house or building to be heated). In temperate climates, an auxiliary energy source must be provided and the design problem is in part the determination of an optimum combination of solar energy and auxiliary (i.e., conventional) energy. Systems for space heating are very similar to those for water heating, and the same considerations of combination with an auxiliary source, boiling and freezing, controls, and so on, apply to both applications.

In this chapter we deal with active solar heating systems which use collectors to heat a fluid, storage units to store solar energy until needed, and distribution equipment to provide the solar energy to the heated spaces in a controlled manner. In combination with conventional heating equipment solar heating provides the same levels of comfort, temperature stability, and reliability as conventional systems. A building so heated is often referred to as a “solar house.”

The term solar house is also applied to buildings that include as integral parts of the building elements that admit, absorb, store, and release solar ...

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