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11/7/11

Prefab Off Grid Passive Solar House Gets Auctioned Off [For A Week(end)] For A Great Cause!


Yes, folks. This Saturday we Raised The Roof AGAIN for the Children's Home Society of Virginia.
And guess what?

The bidding war over our annual auction offering of "A Weekend In The Off Grid Passive Solar Prefab House Kit" escalated so fiercely that at the last second I was asked and happily added not just a weekend in our prefab home to win via silent bidding (which it was, for *hundreds* of dollars!), but to add "A *WEEK* At The Passive Prefab Home" to the live auction...

And then, holding my breath, watching people actually fight over our beloved home at Higher Ground...
I watched it get...
(going once,
going twice, aaaaaaaaand:)

SOLD! A week in the prefab off grid passive solar house, all for a great cause: the Children's Home Society of Virginia!



I can not WAIT to show the wonderful families who won a weekend or week in the off grid house prefab why we love this area so!

You may have noticed I usually end a post on the construction of the prefab with a story of what we did in the area. Here are some of my favorite posts which highlight area fun, including:
But enough about gallavanting all over the hills o' Virginia.
YOU must be here for off grid prefab construction systems information, like, oh, I don't know...

...maybe our Solar Hot Water Heat DHW specifications for the off grid passive solar house???

Why don't we get our hands dirty and go over it a bit:

System Overview for Solar Hot Water

We chose an Apricus 30 evacuated tube solar hot water collector which provides hot water to 2 hot water storage tanks. Each tank has an internal heat exchanger through which the liquid is pumped in a closed loop from the collector. The liquid consists of a glycol/water mixture. This solar loop is constructed from ¾” copper pipe and is fully insulated both inside and outside of the building envelope, with ¾” or 1” flexible foam tubing specifically intended for this purpose. 

One tank provides heat to the radiant heating system which consists of ½” PEX tubing laid at 12” spacing in 6 loops each less than 250’ in length. The 3 Southern loops are bundled to connect to one manifold for the South side, and vice versa for the North, creating 2 heating zones.

El-Sid 24 VDC circulation pumps are used both for the solar loop as well as for each radiant heat zone.

The other tank provides domestic hot water (DHW).

Both radiant heat and DHW have very small point-of-use electric water heaters as emergency backups. The radiant backup heater is controlled by a manual thermostat set to 40 F for frost prevention. The DHW heater is operated by a manual switch. Either will require grid power or a generator to provide a  meaningful effect and will only raise the water temperature by 20 F at 2 gallons per minute.

Read allllll the gory technical system details about our own solar hot water systems for our off grid prefab house, here.

While y'all are doing that, Sunday we packed our picnic basket and headed for Berkeley Plantation.
In Virginia, we celebrate the FIRST Thanksgiving.
See years past: here and here.

(I gave y'all a much better tour, then. Go read those posts! It's ok, I'll wait!)

THIS year, the weather was so unseasonably warm & pretty that we pretty much spent the day lounging on the picnic blankets visiting, instead of passing on the experience for the internetz...



So if you want to see prior videos and bazillions of pictures, then go here and here.

I did enjoy seeing Godspeed on the James on such a pretty day...
The re-enactors of the Virginia Company of London reminded us their original journey & landing were not so pleasant.


And I appreciate, always, our native participants in this ceremony who remind us that they were here quite awhile yet, before those 1600s "Come Here's."

Well, whenever you arrived, I hope you're enjoying the rambling adventures as we restore our land and finish the off grid prefab house kit.

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