Sarah Brown started her work with the SBES team in September 2015 as a part-time Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Research. In September 2017, she commenced her MASc studies which she then accelerated to a PhD in January 2019.
Sarah’s thesis work is focused on a novel concept that allows increased passive solar heating in homes to offset conventional electric or natural gas heating. The idea is that large areas of south-facing windows are used to increase passive solar heating in homes while an active HVAC system (consisting of a hydronic floor and a heat pump) is used to protect against overheating by capturing and storing the energy from excess passive solar gains. This stored energy is then used for space and DHW heating demands at later times. The system essentially turns the house into a low-grade solar collector. Full-scale experiments on this system are being conducted at the Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Research and building performance simulation is being used to explore the full potential of this system.