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HREG Meeting minutes for April 28th, 2002

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  • James Ferrill
    HREG Meeting minutes for April 28th, 2002 Location: Greg and Kathleen Carrier s house under construction in Bellaire TX. Attendees: Mike Ewert, Oral LaFleur,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 11, 2002
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      HREG Meeting minutes for April 28th, 2002

      Location: Greg and Kathleen Carrier's house under construction in Bellaire TX.

      Attendees: Mike Ewert, Oral LaFleur, James Ferrill, Charles Mauch, David
      Sawchak, Laverne Williams, Bill Derebery, John Gardner, Karen McPhail,
      Robert Johnston, Mark Johnson, and our hosts Greg and Kathleen Carrier. I
      hope I got all the names right :-)

      Our hosts, Greg and Kathleen Carrier, are building an energy-efficient,
      2-story house in Bellaire TX. Kathleen Carrier is an architect, and
      designed the plans for their home. The house is mostly complete, and
      sheetrock work was just beginning.

      After most people had arrived, we briefly looked through the house and then
      went upstairs. Greg and Kathleen gave us an overview of the energy-saving
      features of the house, namely thick walls and insulation, skin venting,
      passive-solar design, geothermal heating/cooling, solar domestic hot water
      and pool heater, and solar power generated by solar panels. David Sawchak
      with Morningstar Enterprises is the contractor for the solar energy systems
      and he also gave details about the solar hot water, pool heating, and
      electrical systems. We then went out into the back yard to see the solar
      panels and other features on the roof.

      The walls of the house are framed with 2x6, which allows more insulation in
      the walls. Skin venting is a technique where an air gap is maintained from
      the base of the wall all the way up to a ridge vent at the apex of the
      roof. In this particular home, a layer of foil-backed plywood seals the
      outside framing, with a wood strip to maintain the air gap between it and
      the outside wall. Stone is used for the outside wall face, and has small
      vents to allow intake air to enter at the base.

      The passive solar features of the house include a south-facing roof section
      with appropriate overhangs on the roof to block sun in the summer and allow
      it in the winter. There are plenty of high-efficiency windows, which are
      placed to allow cross-ventilation without using any power assist.

      Heating and cooling are provided by heat pumps which are thermally sinked
      by pipes running through a number of geothermal wells sunk in the back
      yard. The heat pumps are multi-stage, with a small unit to maintain
      temperature, and a larger unit to move larger quantities of heat to reach a
      certain temperature.

      Hot water is provided by two panels on the roof connected to a drain-back
      heating reservoir. This means that when the panels are not hot enough to
      provide any heating, the water is allowed to drain back into the reservoir.
      This also protects the panels from freezing in winter. An on-demand water
      heater is fed with preheated water from the reservoir, leading to further
      energy savings.

      An array of black panels and plastic piping is used to provide heat for the
      pool. The normal pool pump is used in this configuration, with flow being
      diverted to the array for heating when needed.

      Solar power is generated by an array of panels on the roof. The power is
      fed from the panels to combiner boxes in the attic, where the 12 volts from
      the panels are combined to make 48 volts. The power is stored in batteries
      located in a small battery shed on the back of the house. On the other side
      of the wall are 2 Trace inverters, which convert the battery power to
      standard wall current. The inverters are connected to a subpanel which
      powers critical loads only, not the entire house.

      HREG would like to thank both Greg and Kathleen for their hospitality in
      sharing their home. Besides the energy-saving features of their home, it is
      a beautiful place and I'm sure they are both looking forward to moving in
      later this year :-)

      The meeting concluded around 4:15 pm.

      James Ferrill
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