Skip to Main Content

UMass Lowell will resume on-campus instruction, research and campus life for Fall 2020. View the plan for more info.

Project Examples

Passive Solar Housing in the Andes

Course: 22.527 Solar Systems Engineering
Semester: Spring 2009
Instructor: John Duffy
Partner: Village Empowerment INC, Village of Malvas, Peru, Illinois Institute of Technology.

A solar home was designed for application in Cochapeti, Peru and the surrounding villages, like Malvas. Hourly global irradiation data was averaged to obtain hourly data for a representative day of each month. This data was used to determine the beam, diffuse, and reflected irradiation incident on the North-, East-, South-, West-, and horizontal- facing walls of the home. The location of the windows on the house was chosen based on the horizontal skylight and which walls received the most irradiation during the day. Insulation was then designed for best thermal storage throughout the day.A thermal model of the home was developed to take into account the direct solar gain through the skylight and windows and the thermal capacitance of the walls and interior air. The thermal performance of the home was depicted in a plot of the interior temperatures throughout the day for every month. Finally, a daylighting analysis was conducted by determining the illuminance on particular workspaces due to the irradiation on a horizontal skylight.

A small prototype was constructed in Malvas in June 2009 by an architecture student from IIT and two volunteers. This project has become the focus of 22.405 the graduate equivalent of a capstone design course in the fall of 2009. A large prototype is planned for construction by the two students in the course in January 2010 in Malvas.