Monday, July 26, 2010

Rain Barrels and Solar Panels

Picture taken on July 26 showing the finished exterior paint, a growing garden, and rain barrels.

The rain barrels are re-used food grade storage containers and will be painted to match the siding and installed on the north (left side) of the house.

Today I signed a contract with Advanced Solar Energy LLC to install solar voltaic panels on the house made locally in Washington State. The locally made panels are more expensive than other comparable output panels but there are a couple of advantages; they are stronger than other panels for one. Also, the rebate check given to the buyer of the panels will be about 3 times higher than a conventional panel. This was established by Washington state law makers as I understand it to encourage local solar products. The result for the consumer will be huge; several hundred dollars per year. It was hard to make this decision to spend the extra money for this but I feel that a buyer will realize that it the payback will be in a short period of time, probably 4-5 years. As far as I know this will be the first spec home in the state to use these panels & I hope that others can find a way to use them in their projects too.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sun Tempered features

A couple of pictures of the house taken July 12. As you can see the siding is on and in the process of being painted. What I'd like to point out is how the windows are shaded from the summer sun on the south side of the house (the 4 windows shown in both pictures). This keeps the house from being overheated in the summer. In winter the sun angle will be much lower, allowing sun and therefore heat into the space when it is wanted. Having the glass on the south makes it bright inside in both the summer and winter creating a bright space that will not need so much electric lighting.
Since I haven't put extra mass in the house this should be called a sun-tempered design rather than passive solar. Being a more affordable place this was a great solution for the house.