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readytogo1955

Offgrid solar

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101MATT,had it right,2000 sqf homes,why,well if you have the money and want to wasted

be my guess,but the smaller your home or shelter, the less you will spend in utilities,good roof/walls insulation is a start,you spend more in cooling/refrigeration than anything else in a home,like MATT stated,the smaller/simpler, less headches.

 

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/StartHere/OFFGRID/OFFGRIDCalculator.html

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If you are going to be really smart about home design, think not only in terms of how you'll generate power, size of the building, and materials used, but also consider creating a Passive House/using Passive Home Design. This isn't the same as passive solar design, although some concepts overlap. It's an idea I recently came across and would be THRILLED to implement in building my own house when the time comes.

 

Here's a brief description:

 

A Passive House is a very well-insulated, virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc. Energy losses are minimized. Any remaining heat demand is provided by an extremely small source. Avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized. An energy recovery ventilator provides a constant, balanced fresh air supply. The result is an impressive system that not only saves up to 90% of space heating costs, but also provides a uniquely terrific indoor air quality.

 

For more info, read here: http://www.passivehouse.us/passiveHouse/PassiveHouseInfo.html

 

This is the blog where I came across the idea (I'm a fan of this architect): http://www.rodell.co/journal/2012/8/14/what-if-my-house-or-office-powered-my-car.html

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One of the excellent things about wind/solar power is that if your system is generating excess power you can always divert that power to your passive heating system. If your panels have done their job during the day, then the turbines will be an added comfort especially for those living in cold winter climates. Use your diverted loads to heat hot water tanks, water tanks for your livestock in the winter, etc. There so many uses for this application.

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Want as more efficient home? Consider shape. To enclose 100 sq ft a rectangular home might be 5 x 20 feet or 5+5+20+20=50 linear feet. That is 50 linear feet of weather exposure and materials.

 

A square home might be 10 x 10 feet or 10+10+10+10=40 linear feet. That would be 20% less exposure and 20% less materials.

 

A round home would be Pie r squared or slightly less than 5.7 feet radius or about 35 linear feet. A full 30% less than a rectangular home.

 

Basic shape makes a big difference.

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