Does Solar Work in the Winter, You Ask? Why YES!

Teresa Hamm recently finished a project in Washington utilizing a Solar Thermal system.  In just three months, her project has pre-heated 171,000 gallons of water-that’s like 10 swimming pools!  And the SRECs speak for themselves, with almost $3200 to date.  Not bad for solar thermal in a cold winter.

Shout Out for Solar Day!

 

Today leading businesses and environmental groups will join hundreds of thousands of people across the US and around the world in support of the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA)

National ‘Shout Out for Solar’ Day!

Check out our SunPower report for the solar generation on our first PV installation in downtown DC.  Join us and the SEIA to Shout Out for Solar!  This event marks the launch of a new “America Supports Solar” campaign, which highlights the amazing growth solar energy experienced just in the last year.  It’s been record-breaking!  When all’s been said and done, solar is expected to account for more electric capacity in the US in 2013 than any other renewable energy source.

How will you give Solar Energy a shout out today?

No Heat? No Problem! Passive House Performs in Cold Snap!

This week, Baltimore experienced some of the coldest weather we’ve had in 2 decades.

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(Baltimore Green for Everyone, Fernhill Passive House)

Our Affordable Passive Building Project, Baltimore Green for Everyone, is performing exceeding well.  We went to do preliminary blower door testing and found some surprising results.  Our BG4E home, with no heating system yet installed, after a night of -4 degrees and days of record cold (the coldest in 20 years!), remained above 50 degrees.

Our energy model told us this would happen, but it really was remarkable to open the door, step out of the freezing cold morning and into a warm unheated house.  We have not even installed the electricity and the house is retaining heat!

The key to our comfortable low energy home, thoughtful design, was founded on 2 simple concepts:

Minimize Heat Loss  -  Optimize Heat Gain 

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None of it is rocket science, but we got there this way:

For the record, this goal was achieved for roughly the same cost as non-Passive House projects built to code, but on an affordable housing budget.

In the next coming weeks, we will blog on the various design strategies that yield this remarkable result. 

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ps-we were on the phone this week with Passive Building colleague, Tom Basset-Dilley, of Chicago.  He told us that despite their record breaking lows (colder than the South Pole!), his Passive Building design also maintained indoor comfort with minimal heating system (mini split heat pump, typical of many passive buildings).

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Also this week, we also heard from Ed Gaddy, former client of Michael Hindle (Entellis’ Passive House & Building Science Consultant).  His Passive House, currently under construction in Clarksville, experienced similar comfort levels despite the frigid temperatures.  

Non-heated house, with only a dehumidifier running, and still missing 5.5” of wall insulation:


Ed’s house is a wonderful LEED Platinum, Zero Energy, Living Building Challenge Passive House Project.  Check it out at his blog here.

Have you been thinking about getting into Solar PV or Solar thermal?  With recent changes to incentive programs at federal, state and local levels, there has never been a better time.  And if you need any more incentive, just peek at the graph above of real costs over the last quarter century.  Even if prices don’t hit the forecast of $0.74/watt, prices have already fallen 98%.  Are you really waiting for that last 1%?
As David Eves, the CEO of Xcel’s Colorado subsidiary recently said:  “This is the first time that we’ve seen, purely on a price basis, that the solar projects made the cut — without considering carbon costs or the need to comply with a renewable energy standard — strictly on an economic basis.”  This will make solar competitive with natural gas!
Entellis Collaborative has just completed several very interesting solar installations on multifamily buildings in Washington and Maryland.  Contact Prescott Gaylord today to find out how Solar PV and Solar thermal can enhance your current projects.
Graph and quote courtesy Climate Progress website.

Have you been thinking about getting into Solar PV or Solar thermal?  With recent changes to incentive programs at federal, state and local levels, there has never been a better time.  And if you need any more incentive, just peek at the graph above of real costs over the last quarter century.  Even if prices don’t hit the forecast of $0.74/watt, prices have already fallen 98%.  Are you really waiting for that last 1%?

As David Eves, the CEO of Xcel’s Colorado subsidiary recently said:  “This is the first time that we’ve seen, purely on a price basis, that the solar projects made the cut — without considering carbon costs or the need to comply with a renewable energy standard — strictly on an economic basis.”  This will make solar competitive with natural gas!

Entellis Collaborative has just completed several very interesting solar installations on multifamily buildings in Washington and Maryland.  Contact Prescott Gaylord today to find out how Solar PV and Solar thermal can enhance your current projects.

Graph and quote courtesy Climate Progress website.

Join Entellis Collaborative as we invite some special guests to discuss building envelope design and tour our current projects.  Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP to baltimoreCOTE@gmail.com.

Join Entellis Collaborative as we invite some special guests to discuss building envelope design and tour our current projects.  Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP to baltimoreCOTE@gmail.com.

Air and Moisture Barriers

One of the most critical tasks to ensure the health and lifespan of a building is managing moisture.  We built a mockup of our wall detail to test drive our membranes, tape details, flashing, insulation and trim.

We are using the Mento 1000 WRB from 475 in Brooklyn.  You can find them here:  http://www.foursevenfive.com/  In addition to great supplies they have a great blog and newsletter.  Consider them a fantastic resource for all your building science questions and supplies.