Solar & Wind Technology eel. 6, No. 5, pp. 557-567, 1989 Printed in Great Britain.

0741-983X/89 $3.00+.00 Pergamon Press plc

A REVIEW OF PASSIVE SYSTEMS FOR NATURAL HEATING A N D COOLING OF BUILDINGS
P. C. AGRAWAL Department of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Bright Star University of Technology, P.O. Box 58158, Ajadabia, Libya (Received 1 November 1988; accepted 9 January 1989) Ab~'act--In the present era of energy crisis, energy required for heating and cooling of buildings is 6.7% of the total world energy. Utilization of natural heating and cooling systems which essentially consist of collection, storage, distribution, and control of thermal energy flow can save 2.35% of the world energy requirement. The basic methods of heating and cooling of buildings are: solar radiation, out-going longwave radiation, water evaporation, and nocturnal radiation cooling. Trombe-Michel wall consists of large concrete mass, exposed to sunlight through large, south facing windows, is used for heating the buildings. Solar absorption cooling and solar dehumidification and evaporative cooling are two approaches which utilizes solar energy for generation of working fluid and cooling the dwellings. Longwave radiations emitted by the surface of the earth to the atmosphere and outer space is very strong in a desert climate and is effective from a roof surface. Water evaporation by desert coolers is the method of cooling in arid regions. Nocturnal radiation both heats in winter and cools in summer, in suitable climates, and does so with no non-renewable energy other than a negligible amount required to move the insulation twice a day. The difficulty encountered in the utilization of natural energies is the large area exposed with suitable orientation for collection of energy and large space requirement for the storage of thermal energy. This paper reviews these passive systems for natural heating and cooling of buildings.

INTRODUCTION The utilization of solar energy by man for buildings is not new. Houses have been built to collect as much solar energy as possible---during the winter days and store this energy within the building material, for night uses, to restrict the incidental solar radiation in summer by proper shading devices and radiate out at night for night cooling. In fact, there is no building which does not make use of solar energy in a passive way. This was only when liquid fuels became abundant and readily available, man ignored the significance of such passive systems to make a dwelling comfortable and resorted to active devices. The amount of oil reserves of the Arab world (up to 1/1/85) is 405.2 × l 0 9 barrels [1]. If we consider the present oil reserve to be used for internal use within the Arab world and if we assume a 2% population growth per annum, then in the year 2000, the population of the Arab world will reach approximately 290 million, which in turn doubles itself every 35 years to reach 1160 million in the year 2070. If we consider the annual average energy consumption per capita in the Arab world from 1985 until 2070 is 50 GJ/p/yr, then the oil reserve of the Arab world will be just enough
557

to cover this local consumption. Therefore, it is quite clear that by the end of the 21st century the Arab world will also run dry of oil and in order to maintain the same living standard we must think now of conserving energy. At present, requirement of energy for heating and cooling of buildings is 6.7% of the total world energy output (for the Arab world exact data is not available, but it cannot be less than this figure). It has been estimated in a U.S. report that at least 35% of the total energy required for heating and cooling of buildings can be supplied by natural energy sources (such as solar, etc.). By proper passive design concepts, energy saving of 2.35% can be obtained; it reduces air pollution problems caused by the combustion of fuel.

. ~ F I V E AND PASSIVE Basically, there are two approaches of application of solar energy to buildings viz. active systems and passive systems. The active system uses solar collecting panels, storage unit, energy transfer mechanism and energy distribution system. This type of system always uses one or more working fluids which collect, transfer, store and distribute the collected

1. water ponds. vents. durable and will last for a long life time. Passive systems seek to reduce the house energy bill by close attention to orientation. All these factors increase the economy of the passive system. dark walls). Such a type of system requires less maintenance. free convection. sunlight in winter. The working fluids are circulated by means of fans and pumps. Generally. a combination of active and passive system is often sought if a passive design does not meet a large enough portion of the total heating and cooling requirements. storage and distribution are carried out by the building materials themselves. Most of the passive solar heated building use extensive south-facing glazing area to admit low-angle winter sunshine into the buildings. solar energy. C. window placement and design. As a consequence . no replacement. and extensive mass heat capacity inside the thermal envelope of the building to store the admitted energy. Passive design is an attitude towards buildings and represents sophisticated responses to environment and dynamic interactions that can allow a building to collect and secure energy in order to cool and heat itself. F o r example. solar radiation is available during the day time and cooling by convection and outgoing longwave radiation occur at night. The problems encountered in utilizing the solar energy for heating and cooling of buildings is that this is intermittent on a diurnal scale. In case of overcast skies or intermittent sunshine an active system may shut down but a passive system continues collecting. Though the cost of heating and cooling in passive system is increased because of the extra cost of the materials required above that of the conventional building materials they replace. There may be frequent periods when the demand is the greatest while the supply is nil. Passive systems contain five basic components: collector (windows. but this approach produces better results in terms of energy conservation.558 Air bUmd P. and windows--generally. distribution (radiation. water ponds). these are manually operated) and back up systems (any non-solar heating or cooling system). simple circulation fans) . The term "passive" refers to solar-related architectural concepts and term "passive solar energy" describes the methods of utilizing solar heat available to buildings. insulation. controls (moving insulation panels to control building or collector heat loss. In a passive system all the functions of collection. Figure 1 shows an active system for space heating and hot water supply. Active solar system for space heating and hot-water heating. Figure 2 shows classes of passive and active systems using water or air as working fluid. The requirement for winter heating and summer cooling is continuous but there are day to day variations in available energy and in the need for it. AGRAWAL I~ief mt~ IC Hot vmter hg~st CoLd-wotor inter Servi¢o hot vmter detivtry Fig.

It was first developed by E. (a) Trombe-Michel wall. out-going longwave radiation. Morse in the 19th c. It consists o f a large conqmte mass 40 cm or more in thickness. This system having a collector loop. Such kinds of houses have been built in the PyrtntesOrientales district of France and in the U. In solar radiation cooling solar absorption cooling and solar dehumidification and evaporative cooling are the two methods of cooling the building. all the systems relying to a significant degree on solar energy. Solar radiation. water evaporation and nocturnal radiation cooling are the basic methods of heating and cooling of bnildings. Figure 3 shows a schematic diagram of a Trombe-type passive solar-heating system. During the period of no sunlight the south-facing wall may be insulated to reduce potentially large heat losses through the glass. vents at the top of south-facing wall an are opened to create a chimney effect to enhance ventilation.Passive systems in buildings for heating and cooling 559 \ AIr-IleatingG I~o0n~rlf wok ' 1 bed / Active //////J// /I///I///7///////11///! Tr~mbe system / I Passive Wotor ~ -heati ~ /1111~t////1~//I/I Water --1' > I /1111111t1111/11111/// tank Sky-wrm fstaa tl Sl Fig.3 m2). exposed to sunlight through large. Classes of passive and active systems using water or air as working fluid. 2. Solar radiation In solar radiation heating the Trombe-Michel wall is used for heating the building. have to be incorporated as an integral part of the overall system capacity for storing the thermal energy. The air heated by convection rises and passes into the heated space. Solar radiation and nocturnal radiation cooling can be used for both heating and cooling of a building while the other natural energy resources can be used for cooling of the building only. 1. southwest. Heat stored in the thermal mass wall is radiated and convected into the space to be heated. a space heating . a solar house working on this principle has been made in Jordan in 1983-1984 with two sections in the living space (heated part of the house with a total area of 64. S.~xtury and recently revived by Trombe et al.84 m 2) and mechanical room (not heated part with a total area of 43. During the summer.S. Sunlight absorbed on the surface of a thermal mass is transferred to the interior of the storage mass by conduction or convection. south facing windows. In the Arab worM.

It can be seen from the figure that a welldesigned passive system (double-glazing with night insulation) can perform nearly as well as an active system tilted near the optimum angle. solar energy is used to t00 Activesystem / / ~ 1 nHIhtImmL4tltm / ' l ---- 1 4o S ~ gl. It can be seen from Fig. (b) Solar absorption cooling. Area of glass/area of house vs percentage of annual solar heating. load loop and a domestic hot water loop has solar collector area of 40 m 2 of tube--in plate type with a single glass cover with a storage tank capacity of 2. Fig.C.5 m 3. __ O 200 400 600 800 1000 Storage mossheat capociL'y(kJ/m2gC) 02 0. Effect of storage mass on the annual energy delivery of a passively heated building. .oIintl. AGRAWAL BLOck absorbing surface l Therm at moss at. Trombe-type passive solar heating system. The performance of passive solar heating system has been carried out by Balcomb and Hedstrom [3].H 2 0 solution. NH3 is used as working fluid and in LiBr-H20 solution.O Fig.L Fig. It has been found that a single-glazed south-wall system with no insulation is a net energy loss mechanism for negligibly small storage and even for very large storage it is an ineffective system. H20 is used as working fluid. for a reasonably storage mass heat capacity can almost meet the complete heating requirement of the building by passive solar energy only. 3. Suitable chemical solutions for solar absorption cooling are NH3-H20.6 Area of gloss Area of house 0~8 1. It has been reported by Ta'ani et aL [2] that with proper retrofittings to the house it was possible to meet the 54% of the thermal load on the house by solar energy with a collector array efficiency of 22%. 4. Ts Heattossto environment ~// ~ o t u r e To Hea ted__spoce (temperatureTr) ~ South facing double-gLass wal. In this method of cooling. In N H 3 . 4 that double-glazing with night insulation. Figure 5 shows the effect of area of glass/area of house vs percentage of annual solar heating. and LiBr-H20.4 0.560 P. 5.

The hot air drives moisture from the atomized TEG in the stripper and the strong TEG is collected. therefore. Figure 7 shows a schematic diagram of solar dehumidification and evaporative cooling using triethylene glycol (TEG) as the desiccant material./Pump I . It. Molecular sieve has the highest capacity up to 30% relative humidity (RH) and silica gel between 30-74% RH. Figure 8 shows the processes of solar dehumidification and evaporative cooling on a psychrometric chart._. TEG is regenerated in a stripping chamber by the use of hot air from a solar collector." ~ ( 0 . The COP of this system is of the order of 0. while all the operations remain same as that in the ordinary vapour absorption system. This equation is only applicable to a cloudless sky. I=vopor Nr or rater coolant I Fig. The net radiative heat loss decreases as the amount of water vapour and clouds in the sky increases. . Desiccant materials have high affinity for water vapour which can be used to dehumidify moisture. The dehumidified air can be further cooled in an evaporative cooler. 2. Out-going longwave radiation Longwave radiations are emitted from the surface of the earth to the atmosphere and space. 2 8 x 10-°'°'4p) (1) where Ts = absolute temperature of earth's surface (K) p = water vapour pressure (measured close to the ground) (ram of Hg). 6. This system of cooling in which water is added or subtracted from the atmosphere requires the heating of a great mass of air. The net radiative heat loss is maximum when the atmosphere is clear and dry.10-0. . Figure 6 shows the schematic diagram of solar absorption cooling system. vaporize NH3 vapour from NH3-H20 solution in the generator.\\\ Reclrcutotod woter Passive systems in buildings for heating and cooling 561 Air or water cootant t 1 ~ ~ n ~ ~ ! erant ' ! i Liquid v~? 1 Cool = © Pump . Solar absorption cooling system. K. The net radiative heat loss (R) from a given surface can be calculated from Geiger's equation. the intensity of emitted radiation is directly proportional to the difference between fourth power of absolute temperatures (k) of the emitting and absorbing surfaces. R = 0. 2 3 + 0 . Heat exchangers can be inserted at several points between weak and strong streams to improve the thermodynamic efficiency of the cycle. (c) Solar dehumidification and evaporate cooling. The materials generally used in solar systems are silica gel and molecular sieve. This system of cooling is expensive as water at high temperature at 95°C is required to operate the absorption cooling machine. depends upon the temperature of the earth's surface and that of the medium absorbing the radiation. absorbent material and the water vapour resulting in a large amount of heat requirement.15.26 x 1 0 . The TEG is atomized in order to cause rapid absorption of water vapour in the absorption chamber. According to the Stefan-Boltzman law.

.

25T~ (5) T.55 + 1.183 0. Air or water can be cooled as they circulate past a surface exposed to the night sky. the sky radiation characteristics approximate those from a black body at about ambient temperature and that within 8-13 #In band. Effect of water vapour on outgoing longwave radiation at various surface temperatures Surface temperature (°C) 10 20 30 Transmitted radiation (v. made measurement of the sky radiation and his result suggested that outside the 8-13/~m wavelength band. on nights of low humidity and clear sky. 0.160 0. . there is little sky radiation. Sloan et al. Several empirical relations have been proposed to relate the black body sky temperature (T~) and ambient air temperature (To). 0.1. Psychrometric chart.175 0.150 . which is sufficient to cause heat transfer.160 0.4~t]/cm2/cm2/min) at vapour pressures (mm of Hg) 6 8 10 15 20 0.66p)0.197 0.155 4 0.Passive systems in buildings for heating and cooling 563 ~r kg of ~ry air o -5 0 o 5 t0o t5 9 20 o25 30 35 o40 45 Dr.153 0.195 . order ofg-15°C.k = To--6 where Ea = apparent emissivity of the sky. Measurement of the radiation characteristics of the sky is complex and no precise data are available.163 . -0. 8. such as Ta. = To(E~)0.225 0. Table 1.210 .260 30 -0.25 T~ = 0.5 (2) (3) (4) T~ = (0./ ~ tm~rature *C Fig.0552T.200 0.230 0.

Three effects operate to dissipate heat : (i) convection.84 0. (ii) Radiation. Effect of clouds on outgoing long wave radiation Cloudiness in tenths 0 1 Per cent of outgoing radiation I00 98 95 90 85 79 73 64 52 35 15 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 I0 The net radiation loss for a terrestial surface in a steady state (qir) is the algebraic sum of outgoing radiation and incoming radiation from the atmosphere and is given by the empirical equation qir = a T~ E~( 0. there is heat transfer from the roof to the pond. when slight heating is desired during the night and slight cooling during the day time. Room temperature above 22°C could be maintained with outdoor temperature as low as 5°C. Arizona. which is also the ceiling of a room.9 cal/cm 2 day K 4 = 5. forced evaporation of water using blower becomes necessary to maintain a temperature of 27°C in the room.564 P.76 0.71 × 10 -5 ergs/cm 2 sec K 4) E. The data taken every 12 min showed that the wellinsulated concrete block building could be kept within the comfort zone during the Arizona winter when the outside temperature was as low as . Latitude (degrees) 5 10 15 20 30 40 a3 0.e. Test results showed that during Table 2. aT3(T~-T.0096p)(1 . The bottom of the pond is a metallic plate. was accomplished with a ceiling pond movable insulation. In winter the ponds are covered with transparent plastic to prevent evaporation of water.86 . During the change of season from winter to summer and vice versa. a3 at different latitude angles. Figure 9 shows the operating principle of the thermopond system.59 0. (iii) Evaporation. AGKAWAL called "Thermoponds" and is exposed to the night sky. This system is reported to be capable of meeting different weather types with various means of modulating ambient conditions. and prevent the heating of ponds from above. Convective cooling is effective when the night temperatures are appreciably below the comfort zone. The salient feature of this "Sky Therm" system in summer is that water enclosed or filled in plastic bags Table 3. generally made of 5 cm urethane panel.0. i. The first 'Sky Therm' building was a one-room prototype which was tested extensively in Phoenix.52 0. There is heat transfer from the room to the pond in the day time and from the pond to the room at night. When the ponds are flooded to provide an exposed water surface. During the night the insulation is moved in position so that there is no heat flow from the roof pond to the atmosphere.~) (6) where tr = Stefan-Boltzman's constant (118 × 1 0 . below 19°C and when the wind speeds during the night are above 5 km/hr. C. insulations are moved to positions over the roof ponds.55 0. Heat capacity of the pond is sufficient enough to modulate the ambient air temperature. when the atmospheric temperature rose to 46°C. and during the Arizona summers.39 . When the average ambient air temperature is cooler than the water in the ponds. Table 3 shows the values of a3 for different latitude angles. Movable horizontal insulation. the insulation need not be moved from its overhead position.72 0. = emissivity of the surface a3 = empirical constant function of latitude of a place cc = cloud covers expressed in tenths.50 0. During day time. The pond is maintained at temperature below the ambient temperature during the day. The ponds are heated by exposure to sunlight in the day time. during an 18 month period in 1967-1968.68 Latitude (degrees) 50 60 70 80 90 a3 0. With ambient temperature of the order 37°C and dew point 15-20°C.a 3cc ) +4E. Thus. A passive system which can both heat in winter and cool in summer. is rolled back and forth to control the rate of heat flow into the thermoponds on winter days and out of the pond to air and the sky in summer nights.80 0. in suitable climates.63 0. When the atmospheric dew point temperature is low. and does so with no non-renewable energy other than a small amount of energy required to move the insulation panels twice a day (invented by Harold's Hay) involves space heating with solar radiation in winter and cooling by radiation to the night sky and water evaporation in summer.4 ° C .

... Fig. ..Passive systems in buildings for heating and cooling Evaporation and radiation to sky Movol)(e i mmtotion 565 RefLected solar rtxliotion ~ Absorbed so(or rodiotion I ~ -. Some theoretical and technical problems which require further research and development are: (i) Theoretical model for predicting quantitively the thermal performance of roof ponds with movable insulation..'5 Corr/ugo II 4 i \ ][ II .. 10. / ~ "° 1~: ' ~ II ''~" A --''°--'" 22. 9.t steel deck I I ~gs . Table 4 shows the heat balance of a typical cooling day in Atascadero.d. having a complete area of 102 m 2. .. i:! f6'. California (35°N latitude).11J ~ si~b Fig.=. several months of the year.=~. A full size house utilizing a heating and cooling system composed of roof water bags intermittently covered with insulation was designed and tested in Atascadero. Energy flow on a typical cooling day.~. rf tl.'. The energy flow takes place from various sources on a typical day as shown in Fig. 10. no movements of panels was needed since the nocturnal loss of heat from the building surface is just balanced by heat gains from solar radiation and internal heat sources. Operating principle of the 'Thermo-pond' system.

One approach of reduction in cost may be in utilization of elements of the building.09 06. distributing and controlling the thermal energy flow by various conceptual and physical principles of thermodynamics applicable to the building materials. In other words. AGRAWAL Table 4. at least 2.50 (ii) Optimum depth of water. while the external walls should be of high insulation capacity. A significant application of natural heating and cooling system is in agricultural for dual control of temperatures to heat one building with solar energy and to cool another imparting this energy to the night sky. the roof or the southern wall. A major difficulty in passive system design is the large space requirement for the storage of thermal energy. such as in the internal partitions and floors.42 11.00 62. The mass of the structure. or a farmer's house may be warmed and potatoes and other crop sheds cooled.50 218. can provide a partial solution of the storage problem. These principles can be translated through a range of building vocabularies and become qualities inherent to the building construction and operation methodology. It appears that a general evaluation of different approaches is now necessary for the development of components and system which can be integrated in the design of mass-produced houses.60 100.566 P. the storage of heat in winter and summer. the heat storage within the structure requires specific approach to the design of buildings.77 03. It produces a building that is more integrated in its physical context.01 00. A modern dual function unit may be designed with a solar still producing water in the day time for drinking purposes and for conversion to ice at night by radiation to the cold sky.70 03.50 Outgoing heat (MJ) Heat rejected to night sky 218. e.96 01. and offers design potential to the architectural and building profession.90 16. Passive design concepts involve methods of collecting. therefore. Heat balance of a typical cooling day in Atascadero Heat rejected to night sky (%) 36.g. The main feature of a natural heating and cooling system may be in its low operating cost. and details of.00 218. A greenhouse may be kept warm at night and a storage shed cool through the day. the mass of the building should be concentrated mainly within the interior of building. The structure of the building can store about 0. storing. For effective heat storage.20 06. C. Elements of the building such as the ceiling and the floor can also be utilized as the heat (or cold) distribution systems taking advantages of their large areas which enable operation at very small temperatures.65 02.20 01.20 25. (iii) The need for.40 28.75 14.80 08. (iv) Maintenance of the pond. The new buildings should be designed by applying new approaches and techniques on a relatively large scale.23 kWh/°C/ton of its mass. as an integral part of the energy collection system.50 Heat sources Sun through glass Conducted through glass Sun on walls Conducted through walls Conducted through slabs Infiltration Through people By appliances Sun through shut panels Incoming heat (M J) 80. .87 07. ECONOMICS AND APPLICATION The competitive position of natural heating and cooling system in relation to heat pump or refrigeration and heating depends upon its mass acceptance after the economics are precisely proved.58 71.30 156.35% of the world energy output can be saved. The desired temperatures in both situations can be maintained with the same insulation. CONCLUSIONS By proper passive solar design concepts. thus enabling significant energy saving improvement of the quality of the environment.

J. I. Solar Heating and Night Radiation Cooling by a Roof Radiation Trap. Solar energy utilization for developing countries. Jordan solar honse--second testing year. 429 (1977). I. I. Solar Energy 12. C. Los Alamos Report. C. p. (India) 63. A. W. B. and Architecture. Krieder. India. London (1980). Agrawal and M. 413 (1976). Givoni. L. H. . International aspects of air conditioning with movable insulation. Utilization of Nocturnal Energiesfor Heating and Cooling of Houses. Institution of Engineers. C. M. B. . Batorseh. Mathur and P. M. J. Academic Press (1977). L. London (1974). Lebens.4SHRAE Trans. 160.S. Principles of Solar Engineering. Givoni. Oil exploration and its present prospect in the Arab-countries. Vol. OAPEC. p. Ralph M. Yellot.85 to 12. Academic Press (1979). N. Engrs J. A. Hedstrom. Applied Seienees Publications. Second Arab Int. Passive solar heating and cooling system. Solar Energy Engineering.10. Bachadori. Lababidi. London ~1974). Inst. M. Krieth and J.11. Simulation analysis of passive solar-heated buildings. LA-UR-76-89 (1976). Solar Heating and Cooling of Homes. Applied Sciences Publications (1974). Givoni. Yellot. ASHRAE J. August 1979. December (1973). Solar Energy 18. 30. J. Proc. D. Mathur. ASHRAE J. R. Solar Energy Engineering. Hay and J. Ta'ani. R. 4th Training Program in the Fundaraentals of the Oil and Gas Industry. Applied Sciences Publication. Sayigh. M. Department of Energy (1976). . January (1983). Applied Sciences Publishers. A. Yellot. F. p. 60. Sayigh. Kuwait.85 (in Arabic). B. Utilization of sun and sky for heating and cooling of buildings. Niles. Yellot. 8. B. McGraw-Hill (1978). Solar Energy Conf. A review of passive system for natural cooling of buildings. Solar Energy Applications in Buildings. Passive Solar Heating Design. I. Man. A. Cl~nate. 2. E1-Mulki and S. 567 BIBLIOGRAPHY P. Published by US Department of Housing and Urban Development in Cooperation with the U.Passive systems in buildings for heating and cooling REFERENCES 11 M. 12. I. 35. J. Agrawal. 15-21 February 1986. Thermal evaluation of house using movable insulation heating and cooling systems. No. 3. Yellot. F. H. Nocturnal radiation cooling for natural heating and cooling of buildings. Academic Press (1977). M. J. 427 (1969).4 Survey of Passive Solar Building. Bahrain. (part 2). I. Abstracts of Selected Solar Energy Technology. Balcomb and J. Passive solar heating and cooling systems. January (1978). P.