Living with the Sun: Encounter Science with Everyday Life

The Living with the Sun: Encounter Science with Everyday Life series is composed of four chapters based on the same idea: improving energy efficiency by understanding how it works in a building environment.

  • Chapter 1: Solar Radiation and the Sun’s Path explains how to make full use of solar heat in the winter and avoid the heat in the summer and aligns with high school earth science.
  • Chapter 2: A Home’s Air Infiltration and Heat Transfer demonstrates the heat transfer process in the building environment and aligns with high school level physics.
  • Chapter 3: Natural Ventilation and Human Comfort introduces how to adjust the thermal environment while keeping humans comfortable and healthy.
  • Chapter 4: Day Lighting Strategies compares different day lighting strategies through simple experiments.

The series is primarily about sustainable ways to operate a home and the concept of passive design. It does not require any special knowledge of mechanical systems.

Viewing/Downloading

You can stream these videos directly from this page (see below) or you can view and download them from the Living with the Sun channel on the Iowa NSF EPSCoR Vimeo account. (Click on the Vimeo button or the video title on the right to go to the Vimeo page for this video. Then, click on the “Download” button under the video.)

These videos are also available on the Iowa NSF EPSCoR YouTube channel.

For More Information

Researchers:
Ulrike Passe, upasse@iastate.edu
Shan He, shanhe@iastate.edu

Iowa NSF EPSCoR External Engagement:
Robert Mills, rmills@iastate.edu

Chapter 1: Solar Radiation and the Sun’s Path

  1. Energy proportion in residential building
  2. Solar radiation in summer and winter
  3. Solar radiation passing through the atmosphere
  4. A house gains solar energy in both summer and winter
  5. Solar altitude and azimuth angle
  6. Window shades
  7. Solar heat is stored by thermal mass and then transferred to the air

Chapter 2: A Home’s Air Infiltration and
Heat Transfer

  1. Clothing and building envelope
  2. Air infiltration and convection
  3. Thermos and conduction
  4. Radiation, convection and conduction
  5. Thermal resistance with building insulation
  6. Molecular movement and heat transfer
  7. R value and U value of building material

Chapter 3: Natural Ventilation and Human Comfort

  1. Different feelings of indoor and outdoor air
  2. Feeling hot and air humidity
  3. Human body thermal comfort zone
  4. Human body sweat to release heat
  5. Feeling hot and airflow speed
  6. Ventilation and keeping healthy
  7. Effective natural ventilation

Chapter 4: Day Lighting Strategies

  1. Controlling sunlight
  2. Weather, indoor activity and day lighting
  3. Lighting energy in commercial and public buildings
  4. Experiment with different interior colors
  5. Experiment with different opening locations
  6. Experiment with small devices to enhance day lighting effects
  7. Making use of diffused light from north facing windows