Differences between a low-entalpe solar house, a passive house and a normal house

Since concepts such as Thermodynamics or Aeroterm they can be difficult to understand at first, we have looked for an analogy to try to explain them in a more graphic way and thus better visualize what are the advantages of a low-entalply solar house on the rest of the alternatives, such as a passive house or a normal house.

So, let’s imagine that a house is a water tank. That tank is full of holes, which represent the heat losses of the house.

The heat or thermal energy in the house is represented by the volume of water in this tank. The comfort temperature that we would like to maintain from 20 to 24oC is represented by the height of water in the tank.

To compensate for water losses, we use a pump that extracts water from an underground lake (which represents environmental thermal energy) and takes it to the tank (our house), which allows it to reach and maintain a desired water level (temperature).

Do we follow the analogy so far? Are we able to imagine that water tank?

Passive house with underfloor heating and aerothermal, Passive houseHydraulicsThermodynamics
Volume of waterThermal energy
Water tankInterior of the house
Water losses due to holesHeat loss due to imperfect insulation
Water pumpHeat pump
Underground lakeThermal energy obtained from ambient air

So let’s go on to explain each of the types of house with images.

Normal house with radiators and aerothermal

Normal house with radiators and aerothermal

We start with the normal house, where a large part of the population lives.

We can see in the image how that water tank (normal house), has to extract water (heat) quite deep, pumping it up to a height of 50 meters, which represents the 50oC to which that water must rise, in order to maintain the indoor temperature around 21oC.

Taking into account that the tank is full of holes (bad insulation), the pump has to make a greater effort (greater consumption) to try to maintain that desired temperature.

By the way, that “pull” in the tank represents attempts to improve insulation to avoid water (heat) losses.

Passive house with underfloor heating and aerothermal

Passive house with underfloor heating and aerothermal, Passive house

The main differences between a normal house and a passive house or Passive house are a notable improvement in insulation  which translates into significantly lower water losses and therefore a smaller amount of water needs to be replenished.

We add a underfloor heating that allows us to reduce the height (temperature) to which we have to raise the water, so we achieve greater comfort, greater savings and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

However, when continuing to use aerothermal energy, the pump must continue to overexertion because it must take water at depth (as a representation of the inefficiency of air-solid-gas exchangers).

Passive houses represent a substantial improvement but there is still a way to improve.

Low enthalpy solar house with solar thermal

Solar house with low enthalpy and solartemia

If we look at this image, which would be the solar house of low enthalpy, we see that there are notable differences, compared to the previous cases.

Although there are still losses, the effort of the pump is half because in the worst case circumstance the pump must extract the water from a high tank that is continuously replenished and raise it to the 21oC level to maintain the comfort of 20oC, significantly improving efficiency and reducing the effort, while improving comfort.

In addition, the reservoir that represents the low enthalpy solar house actually enters up to 20 times more thermal energy, which we represent with the largest size of the tank, turning the house into a large thermal battery.

Losing a similar amount of water, it will take us much longer to lose the comfort level even if we stop the pump.

Advantages of the low-entalp solar house in front of a passive house and normal house

Low-entalpy solar house, passive house, normal house

Leaving the analogy already parked, Sunthalpy technology achieves with a lower energy expenditure, thanks to an improvement in the performance of the heat pump, to maintain the temperature of the house with less effort.

In addition, all the necessary energy consumption is covered with solar thermal thanks to the Sunthalpanel solar panels, without burning any type of fossil fuel, which translates into 0 CO2 emissions.

In a Sunthalpy low-enthalpy house we also achieve greater comfort thanks to our Sunthalfloor heating, represented in the analogy by that more distributed surface of water.

With Sunthalpy technology of low enthalpy we can create a more sustainable, free, comfortable and economical world for everyone.

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