A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Energy Efficient House

Solar Panel Temperature Sensor Replacement

September 30, 2018
Emilie Phillips
updated October 3, 2018

Our temperature sensors for our solar hot water panels failed. This is the first repair we’ve needed to do on our roof and it was quite a puzzle figuring out how to get up there. Here’s a video showing the process: To install the new thermistors, Tyson removed all the old insulation and tape, and […]

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First Year Net Zero

Emilie Phillips
updated April 11, 2017

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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Green web hosting

Emilie Phillips
updated April 1, 2017

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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Heating Season

October 20, 2016
Emilie Phillips
updated October 20, 2016

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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Hot water solar panels re-pressurize

May 7, 2016
Emilie Phillips
updated May 11, 2016

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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Photovoltaic Solar Panels

April 9, 2016
Emilie Phillips
updated July 19, 2016

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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Solar Panel Cold Freeze

February 20, 2016
Emilie Phillips
updated February 25, 2016

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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Firewood

November 8, 2015
Emilie Phillips
updated November 12, 2015

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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