In the development of solar homes, scientific experimentation has proven that solid wood is the most efficient structural material. The wooden framework of a solar home is commonly referred to as an envelope. In the most basic sense, the home consists of an inner structure enveloped by an outer structure of the same shape, but slightly larger to allow for insulation and air flow.
The envelope serves as an air flow and air access channel, which runs all around the structure, creating a biosphere just inside the walls of the home. This miniature biosphere generates, circulates and pumps geothermal energy from beneath the home, and warm air from the sun outside the home. Geothermal energy can be stored within the solid wood walls, and regulated by the latest in solar home technology.
Thermal inertia regulates the natural temperature benefits that can be derived in cycles between the night and day, and even throughout the varied temperatures of all four seasons. The earth is our home and we can conserve our natural resources while keeping our homes comfortable by switching to all-natural energy sources like solar power.
The envelope-like structure acts as an air ventilation path as well as a dehumidification system for your solar-powered home. Because of the amazing conservation qualities of wood, the energy a solar home produces may even outweigh the amount of energy it requires to effectively keep you safe and comfortable. Solid wood walls of solar homes built with this structural building system have the amazing ability to retain, generate, and release heat. The concept of thermal inertia is not a new one: There are houses dating back to the 1300s that have been designed with the applications of similar constructional theories. We have, through the profound invention of fuel-heating power and electricity, actually been almost counterproductive in our methods.
What scientists are doing now is actually taking steps backward, in a sense, to move forward in the fight for a safer, healthier planet. Studies have proven that it is illogical to use a drop of fuel or a single watt of energy for the purpose of heating and cooling homes, when all we truly need is provided by the earth itself. Now that we have begun to utilize ways of harnessing this natural, geothermal energy, there is no point in hurting our planet via unnatural energy sources.
The system used for building a solar home is absolutely remarkable in its simplicity. Some familiar terms such as the heat-loss equation, delta T factor, and natural/radiant heating are all things of which you may have heard in science journals, magazines or any other kinds of texts dealing with solar concepts. The system of building a solar home is the creation of a structure that is sound, dependable and acts as its own heat pump. The architectural design of a solar home is extremely effective for both cooling during a summer day, and heating in the winter. For more information, you can clarify any questions fairly easily by checking the following cited sources such as Architectural Designs, solar homes by Enertia, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Popular Science.