Balance Point Homestead

Balance Point Homestead is a passive solar energy off grid home in the Mohawk Valley, upstate New York.

David and Sarah’s self sufficient passive solar home is totally off the grid, is not a part of the buy back program and was never intended to be.

It was always meant to be an example of how renewable energies are readily accessible to everyone, to even the most average people.

This passive-active solar home was built in 2002 to prove that passive works in the North East United States, where most people tend to think it is just far too cold and without enough sun.

The house uses eight photovoltaic solar panel arrays that together, generate almost 1 full kW of electricity, plus a single aeolic generator that also provides 1kW.

That is the electricity, but what really makes Balance Point Homestead a work of art, is the unique passive design that collects thermal solar energy and redistributes itself in a more sustainable way.

The first technique was the use of southern facing windows with heavy insulation that has been meticulously sealed to impede seeping heat; a big factor in passive homes.

Once again, this was done by the home owners themselves, inspecting the contractors work with detail at every stage of insulation, as they were average contractors and were not experts in the building of a solar passive home such as Balance Point Homestead.

Secondly, the solar hot water heating panels provide all the domestic hot water in the summer months and most of it during winter months.

Both the wood stove and hot water (gas) heater can use propane as an emergency heat source, but with additional renovation, the house will no longer need propane to heat the water in winter, as the dump load from the aeolic generator will be used to heat water electrically.

This is a creative use of the aeolic generators dump load (excess electrical energy), as most homes usually would use it to provide the grid with added electricity or simply would not have any use for it.

Balance Point Homestead is a fine example of how efficient and sustainable, passive solar homes can be in the North East United States, even completely off grid.

Balance Point Homestead is an example for everyone, that even youcan do this, no matter who you are; simply having the passion for a better, more sustainable tomorrow, and the willingness to go after your dreams are enough to create your own passive solar homestead off grid in New England

Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8439811714819849636&q=solar


Posted in Sustainable by admin on March 23, 2007.

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