Well, since my first posting about doing a solar thermal retrofit to my house back on May 10th, I'm sorry to day it's been pretty much a nightmare. When the collectors arrived on March 14th, they looked like they'd been shipped through a war zone.
I've started a home renovation that will include the installation of solar thermal collectors to help provide domestic hot water and help heat my house. I thought there would be other people like myself who would be interested in my experience - both good and bad. Here goes . . .
Like many people, I'm interested in increasing the efficiency of my home and reducing my gas and power expenses and would love to live in something like the Riverdale Net Zero house. Also like many people, I don't have the means to built my own net zero house. Add to this is the fact that I really like the house I'm in now and love the location and we've got a recipe for a renovation. read more... »
We get a lot of sun in Edmonton. In fact, I've heard that we have as many sunny hours as Miami. Moving into the uncertain future, that's an asset.
On May 6, I decided to leverage that asset into a sun-cooked potato salad.
The concept of a solar oven is very simple: a black, insulated box with glazing (plastic or glass) is aimed towards the sun. It's amazing how the simplest concepts can be so powerful. It's a cinch to get my solar oven up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and during the hottest months it will hit 300 degrees. read more... »
in·so·late [in-soh-leyt] verb: to expose to the sun's rays
When planning a cold-climate eco-home, you first insulate and seal, then you insolate. That is, you design the house to capture as much energy from the sun's rays as possible.
The Mill Creek NetZero Home (MCNZH) will be situated on a lot that is 33' wide from East to West. Local bylaws dictate that the sideyards of a house must be a least 4' wide. That leaves 25' of width for our all-important south wall. As you can see from the above picture, we have maximized the opportunity. read more... »