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close this bookBoiling Point No. 38 : Household Energy in High Cold Regions (ITDG - ITDG, 1997, 40 p.)
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Solar Heating in Cold Regions

by Jean-Frans Rozis and Alain Guinebault, ISBN 1-85339-329-0. Intermediate Technology Publications

This book is primarily aimed at technicians, architects and designers who are interested in solar heating systems in cold regions of developing countries where heating is an issue of utmost importance. It looks at how solar energy can be applied to improve conditions for poor people living in these regions. It is involved solely with space heating and does not look at the issues involved in solar cooking nor at photovoltaic systems. The book is divided into three parts: pan one examines the issues involved in solar heating; part two discusses particular solar elements which can be used in household and agricultural situations; part three looks at the physics involved in solar heating.

Part 1: The book opens with a brief outline of the types of solar energy available, followed by a description of the developing regions of the world where solar energy could have a major impact; the Andean Cordillera, the Himalayan chain and the Chinese plateau. The social and economic similarities of peoples living within these regions are highlighted.

Having discussed the problems caused by the lack of heating which these communities face, the benefits of using passive solar heating for houses, community buildings and agriculture are examined. The chapter ends with four case studies centred on the Moroccan Atlas, Sikkim (India), the Andahuaylas region (Peru) and Ladakh (India). Chapter 2 deals with enabling methodologies for solar projects.

Part 2: The second part of the book looks at specific solar elements; how they are constructed and how they work. Chapter 3 looks at living space and in particular at solar walls, trombe walls, attached greenhouses and a mixed hammansolar wall system used in a hospital in Ladakh.

Part 3: This is considerably more technical than the earlier chapters of the book. It discusses the factors affecting radiation: atmospheric conditions, thickness of atmosphere, angle of incidence etc., and how the quantity of radiation can be calculated. A very basic guide to heat transfer follows, which has good tables of thermal properties for appropriate materials. The next chapter deals with the absorption, collection, storage and distribution of heat energy, both indirectly through glass, and directly into large thermal masses. The role of thermal insulation is outlined in Chapter 8 for both glazed and opaque surfaces. The final two chapters combine all these ideas to discuss building design, choice of system and how to predict a building's thermal performance.

There are seven informative appendices which provide design details and graphs for solar greenhouses, henhouses and latent heat collectors and a method for economic analysis of benefits accrued through use of solar heating. The book is also published in French.