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11/21/16

Net Zero Passive Solar Prefab Turns On The Heat

We finally broke down and turned on the heat in the off grid prefab house- cook stove season has begun, with chili for dinner! Night temperatures fell into the 20s- we are cozy and toasty to our bones, now.

Each year we wait until the temperatures fall into at *least* the mid-30s and when the days stay below 50/60 to even think of firing up the wood stove at night, it just gets too hot.
Why yes that child IS in shorts in her north bedroom.
The interior thermostat read 75, Pip 2 changed into shorts.

I walked around the net zero prefab house with the temperature reader and took notes- for a heat source that only has a firebox less than 1' x 1.5' in length heating the entire prefab, the back bedrooms and entire space were consistently heated. Imagine doing that in a traditional house much less a leaky farmhouse...

Of course, the prefab having passive solar design and built with energy efficient SIP helps, too...


The first day of rifle season came, and went.
NOT DEER.

Here's the difference between still hunters vs. so many here with jacked up starved-dog-running fleets of trucks hauling up and down the road and on other people's land: still hunters are done, with one shot, before those guys get out of bed, waddle to their microwave to nuke a frozen breakfast, gather their arsenal of wires and boxes and buddies to shoot 50 rounds at the same deer...

HERE'S TO THE REAL HUNTERS, like my friend, here. (Congrats, C.!)
She knows her herd and chooses who to cull the keep the population healthy.

As environmentally friendly as I try to be, sometimes other family members aren't so... well... they like horrid dirt bikes and building things like potato cannons... seriously kid go ride yer horse if you need a thrill (and he does). But at least when he fires the cannon he can incorporate it into school.

Yep, here's Pip 1 explaining to me how he used algebra and wrote a Java program to create this oh-so-special cannon:
Some of my guy friends are complaining that although you get the java and algebra in the above video, there wasn't enough "BOOM." So, here you go. 
Boom. 
*ROLLS EYES*

We are enjoying some beautiful school mornings, it's really fun to homeschool from the prefab in winter: here's Pip 2 enjoying tea, toast, Algebra 1, and Tiny by her side.

Reading Club:
  • Trump says he will bring back coal. Here's why he can't.
    "Coal also struggles to compete with renewable energy sources like wind and solar in locations where those resources are abundant. The cost of solar panels in particular has declined precipitously thanks to technology advances in recent years. Even conservative states like Texas and Oklahoma have become fast adopters of widely available wind energy."
  • The Energy Revolution Can't Be Stopped
    "Even without tax breaks, renewables will probably win out on cost grounds ultimately. Equipment costs are falling and, once installed, producers don't have to pay to harness the wind or the sun.Onshore wind is already cost-competitive with natural gas in the U.S. and solar costs are falling rapidly."
  • Solar power gaining ground in Fort Collins
    "Lines of newly erected solar panels march across the spacious high plains north of Fort Collins, sandwiched by a coal plant and natural gas units in a trifecta symbolizing the changing times of energy production."


We do love living off grid at the passive solar prefab... When you think of all the land right fights and pipelines and coal pollution, it's amazing how accessible and gentle solar living is, and why more people don't embrace it...

Have a good week.

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