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As a PS instead I am about a third of the way through boarding out our main attic. I'm laying a combination of 2x4s and 2x6s at right angles across the joists that hold the upstairs ceilings up to level things out (our roof seems to have been built by the descendants of "Little Bill" from the Clint Eastwood move "Unforgiven"), and then laying the boards on top of those. I'm taking the opportunity to put an extra 6 inches of insulation on top of the 10-12 inches the builders put in. I'm also adding another 6 inches under the sloping roof and putting an extra layer of radiant heat barrier (rip-stop aluminized plastic sheet) over that. That'll probably save me at least $50 a month anyway, and give me a shedload more room for her Majesty's collection of "stuff".
 

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It must be nice, only needing 3kw to live comfortable.. If it's not my AC going full time, it's the electric furnace that sends the power bill through the roof..
Trade winds and I live windward, so AC really not needed and since I live at sea level, heat not needed.

Don’t watch or own a television although I have a 4K projector setup on standby for guest, cook outside on grill mostly (dislike food smells stuck in house), propane dryer, use an iPad exclusively for all inter web stuff, low energy bulbs, LED lighting, on demand propane hot water heater to name some.
 

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So, the only real-world way you're going to get solar power in this area is if you have your house custom-built, which some people do. Even then, they're not thinking about solar; they're too busy thinking, "how big of a McMansion can I fit on this lot?" Yikes. I'd rather have a smaller-to-moderate-sized, very energy-efficient house than a monster that costs a fortune to keep cooled and heated.
I just bought a piece of land in rural Wisconsin that I plan to retire to in 15 years and the idea is to build myself a 900ft² house entirely off the grid.

I've been testing a small, portable solar power system for about 2 years now. It's 200 watts and I've been using it whenever I go camping. Less than $700 invested and it's more than enough to run lights, laptop, music player, cell phones and several appliances, including a mini cooler for food. There's no reason why that setup can't be upscaled to do a lot more.
 

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^ Don't get me wrong, I'm all for solar. My in-laws have a 300 acre dude ranch up near Huntsville, and my father-in law had one side of the metal barn roof covered in solar panels, which he bought himself, then had someone install and wire up, then called the electric company to do the final hook-up. Sadly I don't have enough liquid cash to do likewise, and like I said, our roof shape won't work either.
 

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A few years ago, I got all revved up about "thermal"... I've got a 200ft well for the house.. I dropped 300ft of copper tube into the bottom of year around 72 degree water.. Trenched "red" insulated Pex into the utility room.. Got it all hooked up to a 1/2hp pump and 1 ton condenser.. Ran it a bit, could see no big difference in the power bill.. So when it came time that my well water pump needed replacing and I had to pull all that copper tube back out of the well.. I never put the copper back.. It just didn't seem worth it..
 

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How big was the copper pipe? I suspect you weren't moving enough water to get the BTUs per hour needed to make a difference and 72 degrees (Fahrenheit I presume) isn't exactly "hot". You'd need a heat pump and quite a lot of flow to make any difference.
 

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Trade winds and I live windward, so AC really not needed and since I live at sea level, heat not needed.

Don’t watch or own a television although I have a 4K projector setup on standby for guest, cook outside on grill mostly (dislike food smells stuck in house), propane dryer, use an iPad exclusively for all inter web stuff, low energy bulbs, LED lighting, on demand propane hot water heater to name some.
Hey Nutz, .. You better keep your "good thing" under wraps.. Or you just might find me pitching a tent in your back yard :cool:
 

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How big was the copper pipe? I suspect you weren't moving enough water to get the BTUs per hour needed to make a difference and 72 degrees (Fahrenheit I presume) isn't exactly "hot". You'd need a heat pump and quite a lot of flow to make any difference.
!/2 inch.. And ya, that's my point.. I need a bigger pump.. which uses more electricity , which means I have to pay more to the power company.. In my world, there is no "free lunch".. one way or another I end up paying..
 

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1/2 inch and 300 feet? You're kidding me! 5 gallons per minute would be pushing it and with only 72 °F you're going to get bugger all useful heat out of that.

If you'd like some injunearing done on this let me know.
 

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Hey Nutz, .. You better keep your "good thing" under wraps.. Or you just might find me pitching a tent in your back yard :cool:
Very expensive to live here in Hawaii.
$2500 average rent
$700,000+ to buy a decent older 2 bedroom house.
$400+ each year to register 1 car, full size truck almost double.

Price of food will have you running back home in no time.

Gallon milk $7-10
Loaf of bread $5-10
Dozen eggs $5-8
 

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Yeah but you get to drive someone else's Ferrari, grow a moustache a walrus would be proud of, wander round in a grass skirt, eat the odd Royal Navy sailor and say "book'em Dano!" a lot.
 

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1/2 inch and 300 feet? You're kidding me! 5 gallons per minute would be pushing it and with only 72 °F you're going to get bugger all useful heat out of that.

If you'd like some injunearing done on this let me know.
Ya, it was a half ass experiment.. with thermal... I'm just not willing to commit to the big bucks, long term pay-back,.. to pull off alternative energy.. Although I've got my 20 acre farm paid off,.. I still like the feeling that I'm not too much into a place that I can't just walk away from it.. Not unlike my w163, w203, if the engines blow.. I'll toss the keys in them, and set a match to them.. I'm sure some of my Miami buddies are still saying "Where's Bobby?, he was just here a minute ago"..
 

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Very expensive to live here in Hawaii.
$2500 average rent
$700,000+ to buy a decent older 2 bedroom house.
$400+ each year to register 1 car, full size truck almost double.

Price of food will have you running back home in no time.

Gallon milk $7-10
Loaf of bread $5-10
Dozen eggs $5-8
That's why I'm bring my tent and I'll be raiding your refrig at night while your a sleep
 

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Yeah but you get to drive someone else's Ferrari, grow a moustache a walrus would be proud of, wander round in a grass skirt, eat the odd Royal Navy sailor and say "book'em Dano!" a lot.
Jag-man.. What makes you say that about the Royal Navy.. I had a very brief encounter with some Royal Marines in South Hampton UK.. And when I say brief, I couldn't get out of the way of those SOBs fast enough.. They could swatch you and me like a bug without breaking a sweat. Fore arms and biceps as big as my legs.. They had to be on steroids.. Never seen guys that big in all my life, not even NFL linemen..
 

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BTW I grew up in the New Forest, which is bounded by Southampton to the northeast and Bournemouth and Poole to the southwest. It's not the Marines out on the piss in Southampton you've got to worry about, it's the ones down in Poole - Special Boat Service or SBS - kind of like the SAS with scuba gear. They used to moonlight as bouncers in the pubs along Poole quay. You didn't pick a fight with them, that's for sure. Well, not twice in the same lifetime, anyway.
 

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LOL.. I always did like you limeies for your sense of humor ... I had some good friends from London.. Brian & Micky.. They sold their flat for millions, moved to South Florida.. And lost it all when Miami real estate took a crap in the late 90s.. Poor Brian, he thought he was going to flip a mega mansion for even more big bucks.. Instead, he ended up sitting next to me on bar stool.. Head in hands.. "Bobby how in hell can I come up with the 35K a month on the note, while I'm trying to unload this place".. I gave him my best advice.. "pour yourself another one, you're going to need it"..
 

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I just bought a piece of land in rural Wisconsin that I plan to retire to in 15 years and the idea is to build myself a 900ft² house entirely off the grid.

I've been testing a small, portable solar power system for about 2 years now. It's 200 watts and I've been using it whenever I go camping. Less than $700 invested and it's more than enough to run lights, laptop, music player, cell phones and several appliances, including a mini cooler for food. There's no reason why that setup can't be upscaled to do a lot more.
Sounds like you want to build one of these.


I remember Lawrence Technical University competing in the Solar Decathlon 2007. Their house didn't score well according to the judges...but it was judged the favorite house by the crowd. Has two bedrooms (still being used, apparently, as a technology demonstrator). This one, and Santa Clara University, both felt the most like an actual, liveable house compared to the others which felt more like jarring science projects.

Which brings to mind something...for many years, Intel made all of their CPU's here in the United States, and they still do make a lot of 'em here. We can make some pretty good silicon. Since solar panels are essentially silicon P-N junction diodes, we could be making those here as well (same goes, therefore, for solar roof shingles). Mass-production would make it less expensive to purchase.
 
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