We continue to develop resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. See COVID-19 initiatives on Appropedia for more information.

Difference between revisions of "Thermal mass"

From Appropedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
(New page: Thermal mass is a heat storage material, such as water, concrete or masonry, used in passive solar heating systems. With passive solar heating, the house itself acts as the solar collector...)
 
 
(11 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
Thermal mass is a heat storage material, such as water, concrete or masonry, used in passive solar heating systems. With passive solar heating, the house itself acts as the solar collector and the storage facility. The essential elements of a passive solar system are excellent insulation, solar collection (with south-facing windows), and thermal storage facilities (thermal mass).
+
Good '''thermal mass''' is an important part of [[passive solar]] and [[energy efficient building]] design, and contributes to an [[energy efficient]] building.
  
There are three categories that passive systems can fall into. One of which is a direct-gain system. In this system, large south-facing windows are used to admit the sunlight. and thermal mass is placed in the house to absorb the solar radiation. Another system is indirect-gain. Indirect-gain collects and stores the solar energy in one part of the building and uses natural heat transfer to distribute the heat throughout the building, such as the Trombe wall. Finally, the third category of these passive solar heating systems is an attached greenhouse on the south side of the house. The greenhouse acts as an expanded thermal storage wall. It will share some of its heat with the adjoining house.
+
==Basic definition==
  
=Links=
+
'''Thermal mass''' is a heat storage material, such as [[water as thermal mass|water]], [[concrete]], [[masonry]], or [[earthen construction]], used in [[solar thermal energy]] systems also known as [[passive solar heating]] systems. With passive solar heating, the house itself acts as the solar collector and the storage facility. The essential elements of a passive solar system are:
* http://www.appropedia.org/Solar_thermal_energy
+
* excellent [[insulation]],
 +
* [[solar collection]] (with south-facing windows), and
 +
* [[thermal storage]] facilities ([[thermal mass]]).
  
[[Category: Solar]]
+
== Thermal mass and insulation ==
 +
 
 +
Where [[thermal mass]] is used in walls, e.g. [[stone construction|stone]], [[Straw bale construction|strawbale]] or [[earth construction]], these thick walls also provide significant insulation. ''See [[insulating walls]].''
 +
 
 +
==Types of passive systems==
 +
 
 +
There are three categories that passive systems can fall into:
 +
 
 +
===Direct gain===
 +
One of which is a [[direct gain]] system. In this system, large south-facing windows are used to admit the sunlight. and thermal mass is placed in the house to absorb the solar radiation. Another system is indirect-gain.
 +
 
 +
===Indirect gain===
 +
[[Indirect gain]] collects and stores the solar energy in one part of the building and uses natural heat transfer to distribute the heat throughout the building, such as the [[Trombe wall]].
 +
 
 +
===Greenhouse===
 +
Finally, the third category of these passive solar heating systems is an attached greenhouse on the south side of the house. The greenhouse acts as an expanded thermal storage wall. It will share some of its heat with the adjoining house.
 +
 
 +
==Thermal mass and R-value==
 +
In very limited and specific situations, uncommon during the heating season, thermal mass can marginally increase the apparent [[R-value]] of a building assembly such as a wall.  Generally speaking [[thermal mass]] and [[R-value]] are distinct thermodynamic properties and should not be equated.  Thermal performance problems apparently seen in some earthship designs may have occurred because of thermal mass being erroneously equated to [[R-value]].
 +
 
 +
According to the [http://www.engext.ksu.edu/ees/henergy/envelope/basement.html Kansas State University Extension Service] the R-value of soil is about 1 per foot.
 +
 
 +
==See also==
 +
* [[Earth sheltering]]
 +
 
 +
== External links ==
 +
* [[Wikipedia:Thermal mass]]
 +
 
 +
{{Solar navbox}}
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Passive solar]]
 +
[[Category:PH261]]
 +
[[Category:Thermal insulation]]

Latest revision as of 09:49, 7 October 2012

Good thermal mass is an important part of passive solar and energy efficient building design, and contributes to an energy efficient building.

Basic definition[edit]

Thermal mass is a heat storage material, such as water, concrete, masonry, or earthen construction, used in solar thermal energy systems also known as passive solar heating systems. With passive solar heating, the house itself acts as the solar collector and the storage facility. The essential elements of a passive solar system are:

Thermal mass and insulation[edit]

Where thermal mass is used in walls, e.g. stone, strawbale or earth construction, these thick walls also provide significant insulation. See insulating walls.

Types of passive systems[edit]

There are three categories that passive systems can fall into:

Direct gain[edit]

One of which is a direct gain system. In this system, large south-facing windows are used to admit the sunlight. and thermal mass is placed in the house to absorb the solar radiation. Another system is indirect-gain.

Indirect gain[edit]

Indirect gain collects and stores the solar energy in one part of the building and uses natural heat transfer to distribute the heat throughout the building, such as the Trombe wall.

Greenhouse[edit]

Finally, the third category of these passive solar heating systems is an attached greenhouse on the south side of the house. The greenhouse acts as an expanded thermal storage wall. It will share some of its heat with the adjoining house.

Thermal mass and R-value[edit]

In very limited and specific situations, uncommon during the heating season, thermal mass can marginally increase the apparent R-value of a building assembly such as a wall. Generally speaking thermal mass and R-value are distinct thermodynamic properties and should not be equated. Thermal performance problems apparently seen in some earthship designs may have occurred because of thermal mass being erroneously equated to R-value.

According to the Kansas State University Extension Service the R-value of soil is about 1 per foot.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]