| National design handbook prototype on passive solar heating and natural cooling of buildings |
|V. Basic design principles and strategies|
To obtain the best use of the sun's energy, the designer must be aware of the pattern of the sun's movement as well as the specific considerations for house and site design.
The pattern of the sun's movement over Sydney (latitude 34 South) may be taken as an example. In mid-summer, approximately 22 December (the summer solstice), the sun rises at about 5 a.m. slightly to the south of east. From there it climbs sharply to be nearly overhead at noon, and sets at about 7 p.m. to the south of west.
In mid-winter, the sun rises to the north of east and travels low through the northern sky to set north of west.
At the equinox (21 March and 23 September) the sun's path is between the winter and summer paths. Therefore the sun rises and sets due east and due west. At noon the altitude of the sun (its angular height above the horizon) is 90 degrees minus the latitude of the observer.