Hello Everyone. Trust your course studies have gone well and you are close to taking your final exam. I am looking forward to the exam. The two articles I have chosen to give a report on are, ‘Identifying and Describing Heating Systems’ and ‘Passive Solar Building Design.’
The First Article Read: ‘Identifying and Describing Heating Systems.’
When it comes to heating systems, inspecting them and even determining their efficiency regarding energy loss, we as inspectors learn that every heating system has its own characteristics and can described in 4 broad categories.
- The heat-conveying medium - what carries the heat from the source to the enclosure being heated. Those mediums for carrying heat are air, water, steam and electricity.
- The fuel that is used for the heating system is a distinguishing characteristic. This can be wood, coal, oil, natural gas, kerosene, pellets and gas. Even though electricity is considered a fuel it could also be the heat-conveying medium.
- The next characteristic would be the nature of the heat. One example would be steam, or heat produced by combustion.
- The final characteristic would be the efficiency and capacity of the heating system. This can be helpful in identifying and describing the heat system.
The article points out four types of heating systems. There is the ‘warm-air’, ‘hydronic’, ‘steam’ and electric heating systems. Most heating systems can be identified and described using one of these four terms, which are based on the four heat-conveying mediums earlier described.
The article finishes with this important statement about identifying the type fuel the system uses: "Stating the type of heating fuel being used is essential to accurately identifying and describing the inspected heating system.
The second article: ‘Passive Solar Building Design’
The article begins describing the passive solar building “as a strategy by which a building’s windows, walls and floors can be designed to collect, store and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter’ and vent solar heat in the summer.” Passive solar heat techniques can be applied in new construction, which is ideal, or in existing buildings where it can retrofitted.
There are 5 principles incorporated in the passive solar design: 1) There is glazing or aperture, which sunlight enters the building. 2) The next principle is absorber, or the surface of the heat-storage element that sits in the direct path of incoming sunlight like dark floors or masonry walls. 3) Material that retains the heat converted from sunlight is called thermal mass. 4) Distribution, or the method by which heat circulates throughout the building from its point of collection. Ducts, fans and blowers may be implemented to assist in the distribution. 5) The last is called ‘control.’ Some means of control will prevent overheating during the summer months, or whenever the passive heating system need not operate unimpeded.
Successive passive solar design, applies these principles in one or more techniques as the article points out:
- Direct gain is the simplest design, which is sunlight through the windows without interference.
- Indirect-gain is a technique by which the thermal energy is stored in an area adjacent to (but not a part of) the living space.
- Isolated gain involves utilizing solar energy to passively move heat from or to the living space using a fluid, such as water or air, by natural convection or forced convection.
The article ends with this summary statement, “passive solar building design techniques in either old or new construction use simple, inexpensive ways to heat and cool a building.”
Good articles that I would recommend the energy wise inspector to read.
Thanks for allowing me to share.
Mike’s Home Inspection Services, Inc.