A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Energy Efficient House

First Year Net Zero

Author Emilie Phillips

Our PV solar panels have been installed for a year. We generated 10.75MWh of electricity. Our utility meter says we sold 7,373kWh of that back to the grid. And we used 6,880kWh from the grid. So net, we used 490kWh less than we produced! Our load is dreadfully mismatched with production. We are shipping 3/4 […]

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Posted Apr 11, 2017

Green web hosting

Author Emilie Phillips

We all need to do our part to prevent global warming. According to this report from 2015: Datacentre web servers, such as those used by Google and Facebook, to blame for 2% of greenhouse gas emissions – about the same as air travel As my little step towards improving the planet, I have switched this […]

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Posted Mar 19, 2017

Heating Season

Oct 20, 2016
Author Emilie Phillips

October 1st we turned the radiant heat on in the sand high mass collector. There’s a delicate balance between turning it on early enough so the sun is still heating the hot water panels on the roof, but not so early that we overheat the house. The one year I turned the sand on at […]

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Posted Oct 20, 2016

Hot water solar panels re-pressurize

May 7, 2016
Author Emilie Phillips

We finally got around to repressurizing our hot water solar panels. The process was pretty simple. This is a continuation of the work started February 20th. First we picked a rainy cloudy day so we didn’t have to worry about the panels overheating. With our brand new pH strips and refractometer we tested the solar […]

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Posted May 7, 2016

Photovoltaic Solar Panels

Apr 9, 2016
Author Emilie Phillips

Kinder Morgan planned a natural gas pipeline right through my town, Mason NH. I opposed it and decided to put my money where my mouth was. I bought photovoltaic solar panels for the house. We had considered PV panels 5 years ago, but the return on investment just wasn’t there. Prices have come down significantly […]

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Posted Apr 9, 2016

Solar Panel Cold Freeze

Feb 20, 2016
Author Emilie Phillips

Valentines Day weekend the overnight temperatures dipped to -13F. I was mostly worried about how cold it would be skiing. While I was off skiing, Tyson discovered another problem — the pipes to the solar panels froze. Tyson first noticed water running out of the high temperature dump. He found the solar panels at 224F […]

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Posted Feb 20, 2016

Firewood

Nov 8, 2015
Author Emilie Phillips

Come fall, I realize that I am almost out of time for all the chores I planned for the summer. Collecting firewood is one of the most critical ones. We finished this weekend. Last year we had troubles filling our wood rack in the fall, and the winter was extra cold and cloudy which left […]

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Posted Nov 8, 2015

Turned the Sand On

Sep 28, 2015
Author Emilie Phillips

We started preheating the house. We had unseasonably late warm temperatures, so I hadn’t been thinking about. Then all the sudden on Sunday morning, the 27th, there was frost on everything. So, Monday morning, we switched the valves to start heating the sand from the solar panels. We are still heating the hot water tank […]

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Posted Sep 28, 2015