“I built a [solar thermal heating] system that I subsequently figured out didn’t make the most sense – why can’t others discuss the shortcomings of their experiments? People must like story-telling more than science.”
— Mark Sevier, PE (our “neighbor”)
Using Sand to Store Solar Energy
Assessing the controversial claim that solar thermal heat gathered in summer can be stored in sand for winter use
Go Mark! I think also, people are busy, and so after they have built a house, and perhaps it doesn’t work as well as hoped for — in terms of being 100% solar, or zero-energy, or meeting the passivhaus standard (or pick your criteria) — then people are loath to brag/blog about that. But I think it’s certainly useful and will help others learn from our experiments and/or mistakes.
Our house is *pretty much* working as expected I think, but I don’t think quite as well as the PHPP perhaps estimates, and certainly there are lots of things I would advise people to do differently, but that’s ok! (*”Pretty much” as in… our heating bills are VERY VERY low — like maybe 1/5th or a 1/10th of typical house of this size?) We are on target to use approximately 10,000Kwh total for all purposes for the year (june2010 thru may2011) I think. That’s heating, hot water, electricity, lawn mowing, etc). But that’s minus car use, buying stuff, food, etc. We could be living much greener! We’re working on it!
– Mark’s House — a 14 HERS house in Sudbury, MA
– Other comments from Mark at GBA
– Builditsolar.com — favorite Solar Homes section
– Solar heated buildings of North America: 120 outstanding examples by William A. Shurcliff
– Edision: The experimenter’s journal