Solar chimneys are getting popular among households in the UK. The biggest advantage of having a solar chimney is enhanced stack ventilation. A solar chimney's structure is fairly simple; it's a shaft that stands upright and harnesses the solar power. It improves the thermally induced stack ventilation in a building.
How it works?
The chimney captures the solar heat, which facilitates the updraft. The process is simple; the heat collected by the chimney circulates through the entire shaft area. This causes the lower base of the chimney to heat up, and its density decreases. Air with decreased density tends to rise up. This way the hot air leaves the house and the cold air replaces it.
Why you need a solar chimney as there are plenty other ways to harness the wind power? Because of the windless days. During those days, there's hardly any air outside. A solar chimney doesn't depend on outside air. It involves heat in the natural stack ventilation process, and this way ensures the temperature inside the house remains cool.
The architecture of a solar chimney is environment friendly. I already explained how it throws the hot air outside the house. The individual segments that make up this process are following:
- Better ventilation, even during the hot days.
- Not being dependent on ventilation through wind.
- An increased control over the flow of air in a building.
- High-quality air and reduced level of pollution.
Solar energy is eco-friendly. Hence, by installing a solar chimney at home, you can increase the environment friendliness of your home and surrounding areas.
If you are up for installing a solar chimney at home, first make yourself familiar with all the key terms. The key aspects related to a chimney's performance are
In nine out of ten times, the upper part of the chimney is where the solar locator is found. However, the entire shaft can collect solar energy. The efficiency of the area depends heavily on the glazing type, the orientation, the insulation properties and thermal properties.
This shaft determines a chimney's ventilation performance. The factors to consider are its location, thermal properties and height. If any of them is not up to the mark, the shaft will render poor performance.
Inlet and outlet apertures are the two air apertures types. A lot depends on the size of the inlet air aperture. Ideally, it should be small, and the outlet aperture should be large. This setting causes the incoming wind speed to increase. Aside from size, locations of the apertures are important too.
Eco-friendliness apart, a solar chimney serves other important purposes. One of them is keeping the house warm during the winter. It's possible when the homeowner integrates a trombe wall with the chimney. The wall has two layers; the external layer is made of glass, and the internal layer is of high heat capacity. The improved ventilation and the two layers trap the heat inside of the house.
The solar attic
It's a type of solar chimney. During the summer, the attic gets exceedingly hot. To reduce the heat, the air conditioning system has to work at its highest level. This way, a pressure falls on the air conditioning system and reduces its lifespan.
So, whether you have a residential building or a commercial building, to keep the air conditioner in the performing state, add a solar chimney to your attic. Any system where the two are integrated is called solar attic. Like the solar chimney, solar attic also accommodates the convection process in the chimney, which results in an improved ventilation.
Having a solar chimney at home is pointless if your windows are not accommodating. Sliding or double-hung windows are not at all suitable for ventilation. A sliding window opens halfway, which means it's not fully effective for ventilation.
Casement windows are best. They open fully and let outside air to come inside the house. Jalousie windows come with plenty of benefits, one of which is they prevent the rain from coming inside while at the same time, continue the flow of the air to the inside.
Keep them in mind
All the tips, discussed here in this article are relevant if you are installing a solar chimney at home. So keep them in mind if you are installing one.