A Trombe (TROM-bee) wall is a passive solar device consisting of a thick sun-facing masonry wall (thermal mass) to absorb the sun's energy, combined with an air space and insulated glass. It was developed in the 1950s by Felix Trombe.
While the sun is shining, optical energy travels through and is trapped beneath the glass and absorbed by the masonry wall. The energy stored in the wall is then released slowly to the interior of the building when the sun is no longer shining. Using the sun's stored energy to heat your home reduces your conventional energy consumption.
During the summertime when heating energy isn't needed, the sun is higher in the sky and usually a Trombe wall has an overhang on it. The sun hits that overhang and bounces back rather than being collected and dispersed by the masonry wall.
In this video: A homeowner with a trombe wall discusses how it works and helps improve the comfort of her home.
More from this category
Net Zero Community
Check out a new neighborhood concept and see how one builder is changing the way homes are built with a goal to use zero energy.
Energy efficient kitchen remodel
This kitchen remodel features a new window, energy-efficient lighting, new appliances and side-wall insulation.
Insulated concrete forms
An insulated concrete form (ICF) system eliminates the cold drafts typical of wood-frame construction.
You have energy efficient and sustainable options when it comes to framing your new home.
Modular homes are built in a factory under controlled conditions, then shipped to the homesite and placed on a permanent foundation.
Finding an energy-smart builder
An energy-smart builder will help you make the right choices for your family and lifestyle.
Energy rater and performance consultant
An energy rater can help make your new home more energy-efficient through every stage of the construction process.
A geodesic design uses interconnected triangles to create a strong, environmentally friendly structure.