School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Australia

According to the Australian Greenhouse Office, energy consumption in Australia will increase by 60% from 1990 to 2010. Almost 40% of energy used in households is for space heating and cooling. It is believed that these figures are higher in other developed countries with climates not as mild as Australia’s. There is a potential to reduce energy consumption, costs, greenhouse gas emissions etc. by utilizing the passive solar efficiency of structures including brick walls.
A new design for bricks with built-in passive solar efficiency (BIPSE) was developed at the University of Newcastle, Australia. This brick can absorb more heat in winter because the area of the brick exposed to solar radiation is increased in comparison to a conventional brick. It can also absorb less heat in summer because the area exposed to direct sun is reduced.
Thermal properties of these new bricks were studied experimentally. This paper presents details of the solar efficient brick and also first results of experimental comparison to conventional bricks.