Tools for finding a Sunny Building Site
Building a Solar Heated Home

sunkit solar home tools

Cross section diagram of a sun tempered solar home

cross section diagram of a passive solar home w/ thermal mass floor

Climate and clouds - how to plan for solar heating

Understanding the path of the sun through the sky

Using the sun tools for simple surveys of your land

What you can do with the SUNKIT?

  • Evaluate any property or building site and determine exactly when it will see the sun. Chart the blockage by hours of the day and months of the year. Click HERE for an example of the tools and charts.
  • Determine the best location and orientation of a solar home, solar panels or photovoltaic devices.
  • Quickly understand what type of solar heating will work best (give you the biggest bang for the buck) for your local climate and latitude.
  • Learn simple ways to modify stock plans to provide a brighter, more appealing interior while saving heating energy at the same time.
  • Use a simple tool from the SUNKIT to predict where trees will fall and determine slopes and elevations.

Every day people buy property and build homes without regard for the natural sunlight falling on their house. They could have taken into account the site's natural light and warmth (in winter) or shade (in summer) to make their house more comfortable and energy efficient. Not doing so can raise energy bills 30% higher than they need to be. Some people, interested in solar, even install expensive PV electric panels and never determine the best location with the most annual sunlight.

With just a little foresight, and without adding any additional expenses these people could have a house with bright, light-filled rooms — a house that is comfortable and appealing in winter and cool and shaded in the summer. Using the guidelines in this kit, and just a bit more planning, you can significantly reduce the lifetime energy use of your home and increase its comfort level well beyond that of nearby conventional houses.

This type of solar need not look weird!

This is a "solar aware" house — a normal house where someone took the time to think about the site and understand the local sunpath. A house where someone thought about the placement of windows and where people might sit at certain times of the day.

What's in the SUNKIT?

  • Simple, inexpensive techniques for enhancing the solar functioning of any home design. (Passive solar and solar tempered houses)
  • Sun charts for mainland US sites. Use these for charting blockages at your site.
  • Magnetic declination chart for mainland US sites to determine precise location of true North/South line.
  • Sunny days map for US shows what areas of the country are solar blessed and which are cloud covered. Also a Heating and Cooling map of the US.
  • A slope inclinometer for measuring angles such as roof slope and the tops of trees. Use this for estimating heights and plotting blockages on the sun chart.
  • Bonus tool — Simple surveying techniques using the inclinometer.

the build-it-yourself solar inclinometer

Simple uses of Solar for any house design

  • Chart the sunpath at your site and know how many hours of sunlight the house will see at any time of the year.

  • Find the best solar site on a property — before you buy it!

  • Know when the morning light will come in your bedroom window on April 1st (or any other date.)

  • Determine which trees to cut for sun and which to keep for summer shade.

  • Tweak the design of your floorplan to take maximum advantage of your site and climate.

  • Save 10% to 30% on home heating without spending any more on construction!

  • For even higher efficiency, the SUNKIT includes proven low-cost building techniques that move your house towards energy independence. (More glass and thermal mass)

  • All you need is a compass. Everything else is included in the kit including a build-it-yourself slope inclinometer.

The SUNKIT includes the build-it-yourself Inclinometer above and these three sections:

  • Custom Sun Charts - Sun charts for all 48 mainland U.S. states and Southern Canada with complete instructions for their use (18 pages). This does everything the $89 see-through solar gizmos do! Chart the precise solar available at your building site and compare different sites.

  • Solar Strategies - Climate specific techniques for cost-effective use of low-cost solar. Includes both heating and cooling strategies and sizing guidelines. (5 pages.)

  • FREE BONUS - Inclinometer tricks for Simple Surveying - use the inclinometer to estimate the slope of your roads, heights of trees and foundations, and where the trees you cut will fall. (2 pages.) 

The Sunkit is a free download when you join the design/build membership site See all the other helpful free downloads HERE.

To order a hardcopy booklet click HERE. #P020

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