Rural low-cost housing in South Africa is characterised by poor thermal performance, as these houses are designed with no consideration of utilising ambient weather conditions for indoor thermal comfort. Hence, a prototype low-cost energy efficiency house was built based on the principle of passive solar design to avert the energy burden faced by low-cost house dwellers. Passive solar design in this context is the strategic selecting and locating of building envelope components to utilise the ambient weather factor of a house to enhance indoor thermal comfort. The aim of this study is to analyse the thermal performance of the passive solar house. To this effect, the indoor and weather conditions of the house which include air temperature, relative humidity, and solar radiation were monitored. The thermal contribution of the windows was determined from the measured data. In summer, 49% of the whole building air temperature and approximately 85% of its corresponding relative humidity were found within the thermal comfort. Only 23% temperature and 78% relative humidity distributions of the whole building were in the thermal comfort zone in the winter season. The daily cumulative heat contribution of the clerestory windows with no shading material was higher than that of the south-facing windows by 1.08 kWh/m2/windows in summer and 4.45 kWh/m2/windows in winter.
Part of the book: Wind Solar Hybrid Renewable Energy System