Urban CycleIPSE is a shareware electronic primer on passive solar architecture. It is aimed at architects and students.

IPSE was developed by Alex Kahl while at GOPA Consultants on behalf of the European Commission DG XVII.

IPSE is an electronic Introduction to Passive Solar Energy. Use this educational programme as a learning tool or a reference material.

The European Commission Directorate General for Energy (DG XVII) supported this work as a THERMIE Programme action.

This version 1.1e is in English. Future versions in other languages (Portuguese, German, Spanish, etc.) are planned. The information level is equivalent to that of beginning/intermediate college courses. This program is intended for professionals who are NOT yet familiar with passive solar energy. Professionals who are familiar with passive solar should try SolArch.

The audience group includes:

  • architects
  • civil engineers
  • construction industry
  • building designers
  • government agencies
  • public sector
  • technical press
  • media
  • public utilities
  • energy supply industry
  • professional trade associations
  • consultants
  • university faculty and students


Important! To run this software we recommend the following: 

  • MS-DOS 5.0 and higher (you may also run it under Windows)
  • A hard drive with at least 9 MB free space
  • 600 K available conventional RAM memory (VERY IMPORTANT !!)
  • VGA 640 x 480 video setting (also runs in monochrome)
  • a Mouse with a compatible Mouse driver under DOS (load mouse.com or mouse.exe)

NOTE! Be sure that you have 600 K available conventional RAM memory and have loaded a mouse driver to ensure that the programme will run properly!

If you do not have 600 K RAM available, then a handy tool called MEMBOOST (which comes with version 1.1e of IPSE) will assist you to configure your PC accordingly.


DOS installation is simple:
(1) Insert diskette 1 into floppy drive A (or B if necessary).
(2) Type the following:
A: <enter> (or B: <enter> if necessary)
INSTALL <enter>
This will call up the installation programme which will then install Introduction to Passive Solar Energy (hereafter called IPSE) into the subdirectory C:\IPSE, unless you specify another subdirectory. The installation programme can take a few minutes, PLEASE BE PATIENT!


In the subdirectory C:\IPSE (or the one you specified), simply type IPSE <enter> to run the programme. If you do not have 600 K RAM available, then a handy tool called MEMBOOST (which comes with version 1.1e of IPSE) will assist you to configure your PC accordingly.


Although IPSE was designed for DOS, those that prefer to run this programme under Windows can manually install the IPSE programme under Windows. Windows icon files are in the subdirectory MISC. There are 3 to choose from; ICONA.ico, ICONB.ico, and SOLAR.ico.

If you are not sure how to install a DOS programme under Windows, try consulting a Windows manual for further info.

NOTE: if you have less than 600 K conventional memory and you need to run MEMBOOST so that IPSE can function properly, then you cannot run IPSE under Windows. Exit to DOS and run IPSE.


The files CONTENTS.doc (in WinWord 2 format) and CONTENTS.txt (in text format) in the MISC subdirectory contain a Table of Contents for the IPSE Programme.

You can refer to this file as a handy reference to the IPSE programme.

Transparent Insulation


This shareware programme is copyrighted software. However, we encourage you to share it with others as long as no charge is made for the software. If you find this programme worthwile and would like to use it professionally, we ask that you register as a user.

The registration fee is 15 ECU (or 30 DM) to cover the expenses. See REGISTRATION INFORMATION below. We also ask that anyone receiving this programme please fill out the enclosed questionnaire. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which may be made of the programme or the information contained within.


When exiting the IPSE programme you will be given the opportunity to comment on this programme. Simply print out the questionnaire, fill in your comments, and send it to us via fax or mail. This file is also available in the MISC subdirectory (QUESTION.TXT).


Diskette 1 contains the following files:

  • MAIN.000 Main programme
  • MISC.000 Miscellaneous text and icon files
  • STACK.000 Resource files, first part
  • TEXT.000 Text files
  • INSTALL.EXE Installation programme
  • README.TXT This readme file

Diskette 2 contains the following files:

  • STACK.001 Resource files, second part



Upon installation these files should be in the subdirectory C:\SOLAR :

  • INSTALL.BAT installion file
  • IPSE.BAT batch file that runs the programme
  • CARDRT.EXE programme data file
  • MEMBOOST.EXE tool to boost conventional memory above 600 K
  • MEMBOOST.MSG message file for MEMBOOST.EXE
  • RESTART.EXE file to assist MEMBOOST.EXE
  • COURB10.SNF fonts data file
  • COURB14.SNF fonts data file
  • README.TXT information text file
  • KAP1.TXT text database for chapter 1
  • KAP2.TXT text database for chapter 2
  • KAP2E.TXT additional text database for chapter 2
  • OPET.TXT text database - adresses of OPET
  • EC.TXT text database - adresses of EC Energy Centres
  • APPENDIX.TXT text database for the appendix

Upon installation these files should be in the subdirectory C:\IPSE\GOP01:


Upon installation the following files should be in the subdirectory C:\IPSE\MISC :

  • SOLAR.ICO Windows Icon for programme
  • ICONA.ICO Windows Icon for programme
  • ICONB.ICO Windows Icon for programme
  • ADR-OPET.DOC WinWord 2 file with current OPET addresses
  • LBL-OPET.DOC WinWord 2 file of labels with current OPET addresses (for printing out)
  • LBL-ECEC.DOC WinWord 2 file of labels with current EC Energy Centre addresses (for printing out)
  • QUESTION.TXT Text file with questionnaire for users (for printing out)
  • CONTENTS.TXT Table of Contents Text file
  • CONTENTS.DOC Table of Contents WinWord 2 file

The files should all reside in the directories as stated above.


IPSE is available on-line. It can be downloaded here
Registration fees still apply.


Solarch is a tool for architects to design a residential building using the advantages of passive solar architecture. It is for the architect who is already acquainted with passive solar energy.

This software provides assistance during the building planning and design process by helping estimate the energy efficiency of a building design. The first edition is in English and specifically for Northern Europe (in particular for the UK and Ireland). Click here for more information on SolArch.