LBNL Report Number
This paper describes an application of the fundamental methods of physics to solve a problem of environmental and economic interest: the description of the thermal performance of passive solar buildings. Such a description is of great practical interest to building designers; however, this paper is not intended to be of use to architects and engineers in its present form. Its intention is to provide a theoretical basis for understanding passive solar buildings; further effort is needed to develop rules of solar engineering.
The reader of this paper is assumed to have a background in physics and its application to buildings. Since building physicists have not yet developed analytic models of general applicability, this paper must derive its equations from first principles. This has resulted in a lengthy exposition. Because of the length, I have attempted to summarize the results of Section 2 early in the section. This summary is meant only as a guide to the reader, and so it presents many of its statements without proof or full explanation. More complete derivations are found later in the paper.