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Introductions of Solar Experts Options
Mike in McMurdo
#1 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 5:00:39 PM
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Posts: 134,494
Right where?  was there supposed to be a link to a solar page to go to?
Troy Griepentrog
#2 Posted : Thursday, June 26, 2008 8:55:51 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

OK, so we invited experts to post here, but they haven't participated yet. There's no link, but there's also no information. The best laid plans ...

HockeyFan
#3 Posted : Saturday, June 28, 2008 2:01:37 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

It'll happen eventually.  I'm looking forward to seeing information on solar.

 


Earth Home Project:
www.freewebs.com/stocktonunderground

 

MAX2626
#4 Posted : Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:24:50 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

Well I am ceratinly no expert but maybe I can get the ball rolling here.  The picture in my profile is of my house. The side that is shown with the 8 windows is facing south. They are double pane windows about 3 x 7' each on the top 6 and 3 x 4' on the bottom 2 windows. The walls are built with 2 x 8 stick construction with about 4-6" stone facing for a total of about 14" of wall thickness. The total square footage of the house is about 2700 sq ft.including the basement. The kitchen, dining room and living room are on the south side of the house. The bedrooms are on the north side of the house. There is a 6 foot  roof overhang on the south side.

Winter:

On the sunny days during the winter, the sun is at a low enough angle to shine through the windows and heat the LR, DR and kitchen to a comfortable temp (65-70F). The bedrooms on the north side reach about 60F. On the cloudy days, we get very little or no solar heat and must use natural gas as a supplement. We have a fireplace that we rarely use because it is very inefficient. Our highest heat bill last winter here in the mounatins of PA was $175.00. Our total heating bill for 5 months (Nov-Mar) of winter heating was about $750.00.. October, April and May are heated by solar rays only.

Summer:

During the summer the sun is aat a very high angle and never shines into the south facing windows. This helps to minimize the solar gain.

Things that I have noticed:

We have a very strong wind almost every day here. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Its a nice way to help keep the house cool int the summer, but can be a real pain in the winter.

There is only one opening window on the windy side of the house so we don't get all of the benefits of the summer breeze. I need to work on that.

I am going to replace the carpet in the LR and DR with  some type of slate/stone to help absorb the solar rays during the day and radiate them back into the house at night.

I hope that this help someone and I will try to answer any questions that I can.

 

davisonh
#5 Posted : Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:29:32 AM
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Posts: 134,494
Max have you tried to use deciduous trees as a wind buffer?
MAX2626
#6 Posted : Wednesday, July 30, 2008 3:59:36 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

davisonh

Yes, I have one row of pine and one row of arborvitae trees on the west (windward) side of my house and also a row of arborvitae on the north side of the house. They are about 75 feet from the house on the west and 40 feet on the north. There are no trees on the south side as they are not needed to block the summer sun, due to the high angle of the sun. The east side is also free of trees. They do help diffuse the wind a bit. I am situated on top of a mountain and routinely get 25-40 mile per hour gust of wind. The rows of trees dont interfere with the sunlight until about an hour before sunset in the summer and not at all during the winter. The downfall to the trees is that they slow down the breeze during the summer which causes the house to have slightly more stagnant air on the humid days.

Overall I say that the trees are definitely a benefit, especially to aid in blocking or diffusing the winter winds.

 

John Edward Mercier
#7 Posted : Wednesday, July 30, 2008 3:53:05 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

Depending on the height of the window...

Prune the bottom of the trees.

Fencing can be designed to accept reflective diffusion panels in the winter. This will slow the winter winds, and reflect the sunlight back toward the house.

 

courtney.972
#8 Posted : Tuesday, December 09, 2008 1:19:03 PM
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Posts: 134,494
MAX2626 wrote:

I am going to replace the carpet in the LR and DR with  some type of slate/stone to help absorb the solar rays during the day and radiate them back into the house at night.

I hope that this help someone and I will try to answer any questions that I can.

 

That is funny because we are looking for a new house and it is going to be a passiv house. They have carpets in the second floor. We think of removing them as well - it is warmth keeping but you can't kleen it!
12vman
#9 Posted : Saturday, January 10, 2009 11:44:00 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

I'm not an expert either but I do live totally off grid and have for over 10 years.

My system is small beans compared to most. I survive on 512 watts in east central Ohio which is a challenge within itself. 99.9% of everything that requires power operates at 12 volts D.C. or less. (lighting, computer, pumps, fans, TV, stereo, cordless phone, ect..) *Note* My laptop computer operates at 15 volts D.C. via a automobile voltage adapter direct from my battery.

My system consists of 8 Unisolar 64's, Zantrex C-40 charge controller, (4) 6 volt golf cart batteries connected in series-parallel for 12 volts. I have a reserve of around 400 aHr.

I built all of my light fixtures throughout. The major lighting (big lights as I call them) are 4' fluorescent and the rest are either low wattage landscaping lights (3 watt) or LED's.

My stove, 2 fridges, h/w tank operates on propane. (I know, I know.. Maybe someday I'll convert) I can get almost 3 months from a 100# cylinder!

My h/w system is kinda different but it supplies me with hot enough water for showers. The main burner never kicks on. The water is heated with the pilot light only. I restrict the flue to hold the heat in the tank for as long as possible just so the pilot light is not smothered out. I don't have the flue vented to the outside so any of the heat that does escape stays in the house.

Ain't nuthin' fancy but it keeps me alive. I'm at the very low end of frugal..

-Don


"If it Don't.. I'll Always Think it Shoulda.."
lamar5292
#10 Posted : Saturday, May 30, 2009 7:16:35 PM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

I don't like the title expert but I guess I am an advanced solar off-grid homesteader and solar home designer.

I designed my own solar cabin that is 400 sqft and built for under $2000. I use a 350 watt solar electric system and propane for furnace, stove, fridge, and OD water heater. I have a solar batch water heater, solar composting toilet of my own design, solar air heaters and solarium porch.

I drilled my own water well and harvest rain and greywater, raise a garden, chickens and rabbits.

I have designed and built several small off-grid homes for other people and you can see my solar cabin for ideas.

LaMar

www.simplesolarhomesteading.com

rad
#11 Posted : Wednesday, April 27, 2011 5:36:19 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
MAX2626 wrote:

Well I am ceratinly no expert but maybe I can get the ball rolling here.  The picture in my profile is of my house. The side that is shown with the 8 windows is facing south. They are double pane windows about 3 x 7' each on the top 6 and 3 x 4' on the bottom 2 windows. The walls are built with 2 x 8 stick construction with about 4-6" stone facing for a total of about 14" of wall thickness. The total square footage of the house is about 2700 sq ft.including the basement. The kitchen, dining room and living room are on the south side of the house. The bedrooms are on the north side of the house. There is a 6 foot  roof overhang on the south side.

Winter:

On the sunny days during the winter, the sun is at a low enough angle to shine through the windows and heat the LR, DR and kitchen to a comfortable temp (65-70F). The bedrooms on the north side reach about 60F. On the cloudy days, we get very little or no solar heat and must use natural gas as a supplement. We have a fireplace that we rarely use because it is very inefficient. Our highest heat bill last winter here in the mounatins of PA was $175.00. Our total heating bill for 5 months (Nov-Mar) of winter heating was about $750.00.. October, April and May are heated by solar rays only.

Summer:

During the summer the sun is aat a very high angle and never shines into the south facing windows. This helps to minimize the solar gain.

Things that I have noticed:

We have a very strong wind almost every day here. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Its a nice way to help keep the house cool int the summer, but can be a real pain in the winter.

There is only one opening window on the windy side of the house so we don't get all of the benefits of the summer breeze. I need to work on that.

I am going to replace the carpet in the LR and DR with  some type of slate/stone to help absorb the solar rays during the day and radiate them back into the house at night.

I hope that this help someone and I will try to answer any questions that I can.

 

Troy Griepentrog
#12 Posted : Wednesday, April 27, 2011 5:36:19 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

Solar design is such an important aspect of our energy future. Mother Earth News is working on a variety of projects relating to this topic, and we’ve invited several experts in the field to help us out. We thought you’d like to meet them, so information about our solar experts (in their own words) is right here.

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