We had a chance to stop by our friends Katie and Andrew's
solar house at their urban farm in the bosque.
Theirs is a combination of passive solar space heating
and solar photovoltaic panels for making electricity.
From the solar photovoltaic panels on the roof electrical current
goes to the inverter to supply the house and any excess current
goes back to the public utility grid, which means no batteries
to store excess power, typically the weak link
in solar electric systems.
The meter here is running backwards which means the utility
pays for any electricity that goes back into the system.
The warm air from the greenhouse helps to heat the house in the winter.
Looking in the door you can notice the back wall is painted rainbow
colors to help absorb heat from the low winter sun when it shines
on the wall. The concrete floor also helps absorb and hold the heat.
The two story trombe wall is to the back
and on the right part of the house.
The winter sun shines on the adobe wall behind the glass
warming it up and helping to heat the house.
This one is vented to the room behind the wall and the bricks
are not painted black unlike other trombe walls.
To vent or not to vent as well as the color of the bricks
seems not to affect the performance of the heat gain.
To see more on solar greenhouses and trombe walls
from my post on 2/10/10 click here.
The complete set of posts on Katie and Andrew's urban farm:
and Andrew's Windows.