- Kim, Garth, Mike, Charlie, Marjorie, Kevin, Steve:
Hi all, I'm new to the Hreg users group and have a couple of comments about
the Idea of the project house. Since you are talking about a energy
efficient house that is designed to incorporate hi-tech renewable energy
devices and energy efficient devices. The house itself should reflect a
Hi-Tech nature in it's design, but yet be cost effective in it's
The only two types of Hi-Tech construction that I can think of is a Cast
Concrete structure, but it would require a knowledge of concrete mixing and
re-inforcement techniques. The other type of structure would be a Geodesic
Dome, these are very energy efficient and are easy to build. Most domes
come in pre-cut color coded kits the frame and exterior can be built by a
team of 4 people in one weekend. These domes kit come in various sizes
ranging from 20 feet in diameter up to 65 feet in diameter. These domes are
self supporting and very strong and will withstand winds up to 200mph, which
are ideal for hurricane prone areas and are earthquake proof as well. Being
self supporting, the only interior walls necessary would be those needed to
hold up a second floor loft if riser walls are used. With the appropriate
insulation and using PV and passive solar water and heating systems, energy
bills could be next to nothing. One other Plus for a geodestic dome is that
the are rather inexpensive. Some of the smaller kits sell for as little are
$20,000.00, about the same as a good PV system. The is even one company
that sells thier patented connectors along with a detailed cut list, if you
want to supply your own local building materials. These connector, cut list
kits can be had for just $1,000.00 or so.
This is something that you might want to look into. There are several
companies listed in the back of Popular Science magazines and the are very
reputable and have been in business for many years. One is even located
here in Texas. Check out Montery Domes and Cathedralite domes, they are two
of the biggest companies.
On a second note, has anyone seen the ad in the back of the latest issue of
Home Power. There is a guy that has been dismantling a number of older MCI
sites and is giving away to those who are willing to haul them off,Battery
and charger systems. He is guessing that most of the TX sites have (12)
2200 AH/2.1 volt cells, which weigh 400 lbs each, and (2) C&D chargers. The
total weight you have to haul away is about 6000 lbs. Each site consists of
a 24 volt set of 2200's sit in a battery rack that is about 8' long, 2'
deep, and 6' high. The cells are stacked 2 high, so you need a genie or
similair lift cart to take the top row down. they are lead-calcium cells,
which use very little water, have a 25 year life, are about 12-15 years old.
included are all
battery racks, chargers, 4/0 cable, DC distribution panel, breakers, etc.
Not bad for a little bit of grunt work and would go a long way towards a
good RE system for the proposed home project. Sounds like the only other
part needed is some good Solar Panels so you can use the sun to run the
battery chargers. Add a inexpensive wind generator to this and you could
have most of the power you would need to run a well designed energy efficent
house. I have emailed him about the systems and he says he will be
dismantling the site here in Texas sometime this winter, and has enough
sites to dismantle that would outfit 1000 RE savy people.
I just wanted to add my two cents about the proposed house project.