Comparing indoor and outdoor temperatures for a passive solar home in Melbourne during Summer

Passive solar house performance

Having our air conditioner out of service at the start of Summer was an opportunity to demonstrate how a passive solar home in Melbourne doesn't rely on mechanical cooling to keep the occupants comfortable.

Read More
Deciduous grape vine gradually covering the pergola on the north wall

March comfort and cost report

March is a tricky month for a passive solar home. With the Sun lower in the sky, the increasing amount of sunlight hitting the concrete slab is moving the house into passive heating mode. However, the occasional flashback into Summer means the heating isn't required. Covering the pergola with a deciduous vine should eliminate the issue in future.

Read More
Sunshine hitting the slab near the north facing door at midday in late February

February comfort and cost report

Passive cooling with nighttime natural air circulation was all that was required to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Solar power production remains high with exports ensuring our energy bill was a slight credit.

Read More
Compare indoor and outdoor temperatures during the January hot spell

January comfort and cost report

Our passive solar design home performed well for comfort and cost during a record run of hot weather in Melbourne. Natural air circulation during the cooler nights eliminated the need for air conditioning during the day. Solar power production far exceeded our needs, resulting in a slight credit on the power bill.

Read More
Living area image by Dylan James showing the clerestory window above the sliding door

December comfort and cost report

Despite increasing temperatures, passive cooling was all that was required to keep indoor temperatures within a comfortable range. The energy bill for December was a credit of $8 due to continuing low household demand and increased solar power production.

Read More
Outdoor temperatures quickly changing from cold to hot in November didn't significantly affect indoors

November cost and comfort report

Despite Melbourne's temperatures swinging from Summer to Winter and back again, the house maintained a comfortable indoor temperature with minimal use of mechanical heating.

Read More
Passive solar and Passive House are different

Passive solar and Passivhaus

While discussing sustainable home design with others, I realised the word "passive" mu;st be used carefully. Passive solar design is different to Passive House design. It's important to understand the differences and similarities.

Read More
Outdoor and indoor temperature graph

Testing outdoor versus indoor temperature

While the indoor temperature felt comfortable during hot summer days, I was left with the nagging feeling that wishful thinking was keeping me cool. Passive solar design should minimise the need for mechanical cooling for everything but a run of very hot days. Temperature monitoring data confirmed this is the case for our design.

Read More
Hopper windows assist with natural air circulation

Gentle art of natural air circulation

Imagine it’s the end of a baking hot summer’s day, perhaps one of those 45 degree plus crackers.  The home’s insulation, thermal mass and shade did a fantastic job keeping ...

Read More
Heat pump for hot water looks similar to air conditioner heat pump

Heat pump in service

Using heat pump technology for both the reverse cycle air conditioner and the hot water system is an efficient way to meet those needs. Despite the warm weather, the air conditioner is yet to be fully tested as the passive cooling features in the house have kept this heat pump on standby duty.

Read More
  • 1
  • 2