Glossary Of Scientific Terms Applied For Solar Wood Kiln Designs

LIST OF WORDS TO LEARN - Best to read on Wikipedia

Absorbing Heat Rule:
A simplistic rule of thumb that is often used when designing dense masonry walls is that heat will be absorbed and lost at around two hours per inch

Albedo: is the fraction of solar energy (shortwave radiation) reflected from the Earth back into space. It is a measure of the reflectivity of the earth's surface. Ice, especially with snow on top of it, has a high albedo: most sunlight hitting the surface bounces back towards space.

New asphalt, 0.04 - 0.05
Black acrylic paint, 0.05
Aged asphalt, 0.1 - 0.12
Conifer Forest, 0.08 - 0.15
Bare soil, 0.17
Deciduous trees, 0.15 - 0.18
"White" asphalt shingle, 0.2
Green grass, 0.25
Aged concrete, 0.2 - 0.3
Desert sand, 0.4
New concrete (traditional), 0.4 - 0.55
Ocean ice, 0.5 - 0.7
New concrete with white portland cement, 0.7 - 0.8
White acrylic paint, 0.8
Fresh snow, 0.8 - 0.9
Water, 0.03 - 1.0
ld/melting snow  0.40 - 0.80
Tundra 0.2
Soil (Dark/Wet) 0.05
Soil (Light/Grey) 0.4
Sand 0.15 - 0.45
Ice (Sea) 0.3 - 0.45
Ice (Glacier) 0.2 - 0.4
white asphalt shingle - 0.2
galvanized steel - 0.24
terra cota tile - 0.28
tar & gravel - 0.33
magnesium oxide - 0.96
alabaster - 0.92
polished silver - 0.88-0.93 (S)
white gypsum - 0.85
fresh snow - 0.75-0.78
mirror - 0.72-0.85 (S)
matte silver - 0.7
polished aluminum - 0.65-0.75 (S)
polished chrome - 0.6-0.7 (S)
matte aluminum - 0.55-0.6
white paper sheet - 0.6-0.7
melting snow (clean) - 0.6-0.62
matte chrome - 0.5
plaster - 0.4-0.45
natural silk fabric - 0.35-0.55
batten (fresh wood) - 0.35-0.42
face skin - 0.25-0.35
white dry sand - 0.24-0.32
yellow clay - 0.16
batten (old, weathered) 0.12-0.16
white wet sand - 0,11-0.2
dry asphalt - 0.1-0.18
black soil (dry) - 0.07-0.08
wet asphalt - 0.06-0.08
summer foliage - 0.09-0.12
conifer - 0.08-0.12
autumn foliage - 0.15-0.3
black soil (wet) - 0.02-0.05
black velvet - 0.01-0.03

D - diffuse
S - specular
M - mixed

Convection Heat Transfer

Convection Current



Humidity relative

GROUND TEMPERATURE - Mean annual air temperature


Solar Siphon --- Thermosiphon

Solar collector


Convection Heat Transfer - The transfer of heat within liquids and gases, the movement of the particles transfers the heat.

Convection Current: The flow of air inside the kiln, the hot air rises, and the cold air falls.

Conduction: Transfer of heat by "Touching."

Humidity: Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Water vapor is the gaseous state of water and is invisible. Humidity indicates the likelihood of precipitation, dew, or fog. Higher humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture from the skin. This effect is calculated in a heat index table or humidex.

There are three main measurements of humidity: absolute, relative and specific. Absolute humidity is the water content of air at a given temperature expressed in gram per cubic metre. Relative humidity, expressed as a percent, measures the current absolute humidity relative to the maximum (highest point) for that temperature. Specific humidity is a ratio of the water vapor content of the mixture to the total air content on a mass basis.

GROUND TEMPERATURE - Mean annual air temperature
Depending on latitude, the temperature beneath the upper 6 metres (20 ft) of Earth's surface maintains a nearly constant temperature between 10 and 16 °C (50 and 60 °F)

Radiation Barrier:


Solar Chimney

Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the sun harnessed, and what is harnessed mean? It means how will  we make that energy valuable? I am making it valuable by pushing the water out of the wood.

Solar Siphon --- Thermosiphon
- sucking the hot air, by allowing the hot air to rise, and the cold air be siphoned from lower, or cooler areas.

Solar thermal collector
A solar thermal collector collects heat by absorbing sunlight. A collector is a device for capturing solar radiation. Solar radiation is energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation from the infrared (long) to the ultraviolet (short) wavelengths. The quantity of solar energy striking the Earth's surface (solar constant) averages about 1,000 watts per square meter under clear skies, depending upon weather conditions, location and orientation.

The term "solar collector" commonly refers to solar hot water panels, but may refer to installations such as solar parabolic troughs and solar towers; or basic installations such as solar air heaters. Concentrated solar power plants usually use the more complex collectors to generate electricity by heating a fluid to drive a turbine connected to an electrical generator. Simple collectors are typically used in residential and commercial buildings for space heating.

Solar Updraft Tower

Thermal Mass: This is like using a massively large stone, we can heat it, or cool it, and it will give off heat or absorb to keep something cool.

In building design, thermal mass is a property of the mass of a building which enables it to store heat, providing "inertia" against temperature fluctuations. It is sometimes known as the thermal flywheel effect. For example, when outside temperatures are fluctuating throughout the day, a large thermal mass within the insulated portion of a house can serve to "flatten out" the daily temperature fluctuations, since the thermal mass will absorb thermal energy when the surroundings are higher in temperature than the mass, and give thermal energy back when the surroundings are cooler, without reaching thermal equilibrium. This is distinct from a material's insulative value, which reduces a building's thermal conductivity, allowing it to be heated or cooled relatively separate from the outside, or even just retain the occupants' thermal energy longer.

Scientifically, thermal mass is equivalent to thermal capacitance or heat capacity, the ability of a body to store thermal energy. It is typically referred to by the symbol Cth and measured in units of J/°C or J/K (which are equivalent). Thermal mass may also be used for bodies of water, machines or machine parts, living things, or any other structure or body in engineering or biology. In those contexts, the term "heat capacity" is typically used instead.

Trombe Wall

Trombe wall: Trombe walls may be constructed with or without internal vents. Non-vented walls rely on conduction through the wall to heat the space behind the wall, while vented walls allow the user to actively or passively circulate room air past the heated side of the wall for more immediate heating. Vented Trombe walls may use passively or actively controllable flaps to prevent convection in the undesired direction, as when the wall cools at night in winter or heats during the day in summer. In climates that have higher summer temperatures Trombe walls may also be designed with external vents to improve the shedding of heat at night.

Vented walls offer the advantage of being able to shed more heat earlier in the evening when it is more commonly required while higher heat capacity non-vented walls offer the advantage of improved overall diurnal stability. Views differ among the passive solar community as to which is more advantageous.

A simplistic rule of thumb that is often used when designing dense masonry walls is that heat will be absorbed and lost at around two hours per inch

Join the conversation!

You are not Signed In. Sign In to Leave a Comment or Sign Up