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View Diary: Let's put 'solar panels on every home' say Robert Kennedy Jr. and David Crane (190 comments)

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  •  I understand about not messing with the roof (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indubitably

    there was some arrangement of solar panels that maybe glued to the panels.....I remember a uk site, but it is changing so fast it's been 6 months since I spent hours searching, but I bet you can find some flexible solar panels ( a lower efficiency technology) that are made specifically for metal roof...the raised seam type I mean with the 20+" of flat space..but they may even have a scheme for corrugated...and there is a lot of roof space available in the world, a big market...so you might be surprised!

    The heat pump?..... is it ground heat source with a deep loop or an AC/heating type heat pump with an air (yes, odd as it seems!) heat source. They seem to draw in the range of 10-15 amps at 110v iirc...and a great technology, high efficiency, easier installation, low operating costs.
      They concentrate heat from the ground loop(drilling and expensive) or the air (drawn from  amazing low temperature air too!), pump it to the outlets in the house, and the unit turns automatically into an AC when it gets hot. Cool! Expensive..lowest for one indoor outlet unit is nearish $2500 uninstalled, four outlets about $4400. Electrical costs similar to the AC that the unit is built around. It uses the usual AC unit you see parked outside on a slab buzzing away, but somebody great mind developed  simple reverseing switch thinght that allows it to also be a heater! Give that woman or man a Nobel Prize!

        The usual heat pump scheme for the air heat source seems to be called 'mini-split heat pumps' and similar, and the only installation is the outside AC/heating unit, and the thin insulated fluid lines to the relatively small outlets in the rooms, 1-4 for most modest sized house, it's a great newish advance.

    anyway...keep at it, sounds great.

    And you can still have electricity when the public grid is down if you don't hook it to the grid, so there's that advantage.

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 02:57:15 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, this is so helpful. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee

      My heat pump is of the window air conditioner variety, and boy, do I love it. I was living elsewhere when I first came up with this scheme and planned to use solar to power a small regular window air conditioner---but a heat pump is an entirely different critter!

      I still have central in the upper part of the house, but it's old and I plan to replace it with another heat pump. Biggest problem I've had is where to put it, as the house is old (1940's) so the rooms are quite small, absolutely no flow, and all the windows were replaced with energy efficient argon windows before I bought this place.

      You've given me some real meat to work with. I live in Oil Country, and they don't like no backtalk about solar here, so I've been a bit on my own with this.

      •  even better, the heat pump's coil to heat the air (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indubitably

        there is that scheme where the heat pump as a heater AND air conditioner can run to a less costly coil in place of or in addition to the burner..and maybe have both so at night if you are battery power less the gas can run the heater, but daytime you can run the cheaper to operate solar air conditioner/heater that heats and cools the air that your blower (replace that too, there are cheaper and more efficient ones by now) then distributes the air thru the currently installed and expensive heat ducts.
           And insulate the accessible ducts with something, maybe foam and silver bubble wrap to cover the skanky figlas and even asbestos coating..and check out how to deal with leave in place and coat it/cover it asbestos treatment..of course don't bust the walls open haha, but insulate them too..blow in holes in the drywall and patch.
          This old house, yippee!

        Then the old ductwork may need a better modern HEPA filter, a cleaning even, or a freestanding HEPA filter.

        There are orgs most everywhere in calif to try and help insulate/weather seal, and books and websites too, maybe even do it for cheap or free depending on your money.
        Problem is, a new gas heater as a DIY is dirty and trickyish, but cheaper at $600-1200....plus installation/hookup etc.
              A mini split type heat pump can be easily $2000+ and the coil adds to that, and also tricky, but certainly doable...and then hire some cranky hvac guy to fix it up for you, haha...at least to hook up the toxic refrigerant line. Maybe even pay him to look at your plans and advise, then check and do the final hookup, test, and warranty card, bldg permit sign off...or not. You won't be the first DIY if you are, to ask him...or find another less cranky/more helpful.

        Do a lot of research online, ask questions here on sat morning or in diaries like this...and maybe write it up, there is lots of experience besides my jabber here.

        Look for the Terry Love plumbing blog, they talk about how to incorporate your hot water heating and house heating there as well, many schemes to use the hot water, which now can be a heat pump, and small low cost high efficiency, to circulate water by thermostat demand to a heating coil and fan in your existing ductwork...or an electric hw heater , or gas, or instant...all thought of, all tried, all talked about there and probably several other sites as well.

        That will help if DIY or if hiring as a smarter consumer is a ..well, heh, more interesting consumer.

        The heat pump HW to a the ducted coil supplies both house heat and the plumbed hot water, cost is sorta the same $2-5000+, and switching from grid to battery would be tedious and adds to the cost, so you would maybe opt for the grid tied solar, most would, or a gas HW heater as backup, even trickier...or even do without...however, with a really well insulated storage tank inline with the heat pump hw heater, and even a DIY solar water heating system you might not have to start the grid tied electric coils in the storage tank. Did I mention the heat pump HW heater IIRC< heh, has electric coils in the tank, expensive to run,,,but maybe you could figure the wiring to have the heat pump on your solar/battery supplied elec power, and the storage tank, already usually an electric hot water heater with, in your case, grid supplied electric heat elements, tuned to only come one at those really low temp times..I am pretty sure I have seen that tried as well at the Terry Love site..a lot of reading, but worth it imo.  See the 'tank' forum, there are a few forums to chose from , but skim them all...heck, sign up, ask questions, they are very nice and helpful there I think.

        Keep us here updated and good luck!

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 07:28:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My doG, where have you been? (0+ / 0-)

          Maybe it's the often infrequency of my visits to Daily Kos---I know your name, but had no idea you're a solar guru.

          I'm going to follow you starting now. With this kind of mentoring, I may actually be able to pull this off ...

          •  ha,no, I am just a month ahead of you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            indubitably

            in researching this jibber jabber for my own ancient house: hot water, choice of heating...which in norcal coast I think is going to be more sweaters...for now.

            But thanks, I am always in the solar diaries and home repair whether I jabber or not. And always willing to help confuse.

            The Terry Love site I found looking up instant hw heaters and am amazed at the thinking and clever schemes there...like everywhere on the net, really.

            It's a weird new world, good luck with your house!

            This machine kills Fascists.

            by KenBee on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:56:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee

              Trust me, with this old place, I'll need it! I'll say this for the previous owners: instead of investing a lot in granite countertops and such, they took care of the stuff that really mattered. Now it's up to me to bring it into the 21st c. in terms of full energy efficiency.

              They even put in a tornado shelter big enough that I could kind of live in it, should Zombiegeddon break out!

              •  check this old house pdf (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                indubitably

                this is across Humboldt bay from me in eureka cal, but old house interesting...so much available online...pdf
                windows, old paint, insulation...so much to do.

                tornado shelter!  nifty, sorta

                This machine kills Fascists.

                by KenBee on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:02:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

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