The diagram you see above is the general layout, showing how the core of everything, solar heating, works. Clicking here to see a better and larger diagram （real picture at the bottom of this page）. The following slide shows even better the principle behind the whole system:
Here is the nutshell. Houses built from foundation using our system feature a south-facing roof which is hollow, allowing air to flow inside. As the roof’s exterior warms from sunlight exposure, fresh air is drawn inside from vents within the BIPV panels or heat collecting panels. As the panel surface heats in the sun, so does the air inside the cavity which rises to the ridge. The hot air then passes through a fan-driven handling unit, forcing it downward through a large vertical duct. The ground floor is typically elevated above the foundation to form a plenum. The hot air enters the interior through floor vents placed throughout the house. The following hand-drawn schematic is a better presentation of the whole thing:
During night time while there is no sun, the heat in concrete and the exchange space gets slowly released out so that the room temperature will not drop drastically. In certain provinces that are very cold, an additional heating source is built in as a backup, see two diagrams below:
Note that the whole process gets controlled smartly so that everything works in unison. We did not forget the hot summer. The following two schematics show that we’ve got both the summer daytime and nighttime scenarios covered:
Beside solar heating, we can also install BIPV solar panels on your roof and water tank in your basement. The former allows you produce enough electricity to sell to the grid in summer times, while the latter provides the needed hot water due to the solar heating – you can call it “solar hot water” if you want to.
One word about our electricity producing solar panels: to save your cost of having to buy the storage batteries, we do not use any storage battery at the moment. There is a better setup: hook up the whole of our electricity unit to the grid through a NET meter. This way, you can sell to the grid or get power from the grid automatically, whenever the system sees the need.
Real Picture showing how does the roof looks like with both the Solar HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) collector panels and the Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) panels visible (solar hot water tank, handling unit, control display and many other parts are hidden inside the house):
Can you incorporate this new system into an existing house? Yes, we are actually retrofitting it to an old house right now in Kelowna, BC and the address is 727 Cassiar Crescent which is also UBCO’s living lab – click here for more information on this conversion.