How many people here have generators or solar in their home?

Discussion in 'Energy' started by RodISHI, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Senior Member

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    I am wondering how many out there of the USMB people already have some solar and/or electric generation in their homes?


    We have outside solar lights.

    Solar camp lights.

    A small solar system that can provide for a few lightbulbs or charge up the laptop, 12 vlot batteries, etc.

    We also have a generator.


    No wind power yet but we are hoping to get something going in the next year.
     
  2. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    We have solar outside lighting, and a generator, 3800 watts 5300 surge. This is for the purpose of powering our sump pump in case of a power outage during periods of violent storm events when there would also be a threat of groundwater in the basement.

    I'm proposing the construction of a passive solar home for the speculative market. The spec home building market is overbuilt, but a home with special features such as a glass roofed sun-porch (Florida Room) facing south acting as a passive heat collector large enough to significantly add to the living space of the home might attract a buyer.

    The idea behind this porch is to collect as much heat as possible and use it immediately there and in the interior spaces rather than storing it in some dense material. To store it in a dense material requires that material to be heated from some lower temperature. Overcoming that inertial low temperature wastes the opportunity to use the heat on any given sunny day by simple convection into the interior spaces of the home where it can reduce heating by other means. I have a more complex plan for distributing the heat through the house by injecting it into the far reaches of a basement by convection and simple thermal rising have it heat floors and spaces of upper levels. my proposed home is more a bungalo shaped European architecture very efficient in heat loss factors.

    Here's a view of the same porch seen from the inside with snow covering the glass panels. Notice the flowers blooming inside in the middle of an Indiana winter. During extremely cold weather we'd move them closer to the main wall of the house cover and them with light bed sheets. I had installed some grilles from the crawl-spaces which allowed some heated air to filter out under the sheets to prevent frost-bite. During the coldest days the temperature in our Florida Room was quite balmy. It was surprising that even cloudy days produced ambient heat in the porch.

    The walls were made entirely of glass panels which were kept open during summer months to cool by open ventilation. I realize there are metal framed structures available but this construction allows me to use the same materials as the main house and do the work myself which reduces cost. The glass roof panels are standard size laminated glass panels one quarter inch thick laid on rafters imbedded in a bead of silicone calking. They were laid as if they were shingles with the regular roofing overlaying them at the top. I've built five or six of these and never had a leakage problem

    I learned enough from this experience (built in 1983) to greatly improve on it in my proposed construction. I see this as a way of selling in a difficult market by capitalizing on the interest in energy conservation and at the same time enhancing the quality of home life of the owner.
     
  3. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Senior Member

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    Nice. Even passive solar helps. It looks like you butted the side ends of the glass together?
     
  4. Luissa
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    Luissa Annoying Customer Supporting Member

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    Solar lights by the pool, that is about it!
     
  5. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    On the side panels I used standard 5/8" patio glass panels set in wood frames. They were opened in the spring, and closed in the fall. They 'winged' out to catch the breezes from the west and when in optimum open position rested on posts set in the ground for support. In my later projects I used sliding glass doors which give at least 50% fenestration, and allowed me to standardize the building process. My winged units gave about an 85% effective opening, and any rain blowing in was allowed to drain through the wood floor onto a membrane suspended below to dispose of the water. and keep any earthy odors from developing. The floor would heat up readily and the air could circulate from the space below the floor into the porch spaces to some benifit I thought.

    The room in the photo's was 12 feet by 33 feet. When doing something like that, the bigger the better, IMO. I'll be using some green (green is an effective absorber of solar ratiation) heat collector panels (made of metal?) with a sloped sun facing angled fish scale configuration against an 8 inch thick wall enclosing a 'chamber' to accommodate heat extraction from behind then down into the floor system below, and back into the rest of the house. I hope to do that by convection, but some mechanical force may be needed.

    If I was going to use any kind of solar collector I'd want to use some kind of a "blanket" to turn the solar radiation directly into electricity, but I'm trying to be as "passive" as possible so that maintenance is nil.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  6. Agnapostate
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    Agnapostate BANNED

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    My parents' Temecula ranch was entirely solar. Of course, I almost never went up there went I lived with them, and haven't been there in about two years, so...
     
  7. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Blankets, fireplace, candles and bicycles. We are ready. ;)
     
  8. Terry
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    Terry Shut the $%$ Up!

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    RodISHI,

    How expensive is the solar lights and enought to power a computer and such like you speak of? Any links on where to buy and all that is needed? I have a large gas powered Generator, wood burning stove, and plenty of large Vehicles with full tanks to cyphon gas from, but the solar sounds interesting. It use to be too expensive to even think of. Is it still this way?
     
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  9. Andrew2382
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    Andrew2382 Senior Member

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    I bought a generator after the 05 hurricane seasona nd being out of power for 17 days...I won't be making that mistake again.
     
  10. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Gold Member

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    We have a generator

    i am working on some solar hot air generators to put on my south and south west facing roofs on the house and barn for next winter.
     

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