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7/31/17

Off Grid Air Conditioning A Modern Prefab House On Minimal Solar

Passive solar design of the off grid modern prefab house helps keep things cool.

It was another scorching week at the modern off grid prefab house, and while, off grid on a *minimal* solar system with fans and energy efficient SIP holding in the summer evening's cooler temperatures works for MOST of the summer, during 100+ weeks it is just plain HOT without air conditioning.

Our Amish friends just don't do air conditioning at all. But just because you're off grid on a eensy solar system like we are doesn't mean you need to sit out those 100+ temperatures and suffer just to be off grid. Other off gridders load up on bigger systems, but we are happy with our affordable, minimal solution EXCEPT in times like this where an air conditioner would be... nice.

At least with the energy efficient SIP (structural insulated panels) once an air conditioner cooled the prefab house it would keep that cool air in. But currently we still have no air conditioning.

It currently doesn't matter much for our family, as, sailors, we go back and forth to the bay all summer where THAT ole 150 year old Ramshackle has air conditioning, ha.
And the Ramshackle is eeven passive solar, which is not surprising
in homes built before air conditioning!

But since we always have guests at the prefab house when we're gone, it is something to address for those 2-3 weeks each summer when it's HOT.

I think I finally found our family's off grid air conditioner solution and like Lloyd Alter says, it's totally boring:
Solar powered air conditioning is finally here, and it's totally boring
"...It simply uses a dedicated 1kW solar PV array to drive the air conditioner, greatly reducing the energy required from the grid. In full sun, the unit can draw as little as 30 watts from the grid while producing its rated 3.5 kW cooling/ 3.8 kW heating capacity."

I am looking forward to cobbling together our own solution with parts from the USA (they are in Australia). It would not be a *pretty,* modern solution- but during those extreme days, it would get it done, then I could store it away the rest of the year.
Back at the bay, rain came in and we welcomed it as an opportunity to work on interior projects in The Ramshackle while... the beasts watched us, hard at work, while they napped.


The weather moved out to reveal a perfect sailing weekend with mild temperatures we will enjoy all week, especially when we returned to the off grid modern prefab house!
"Oh hey there! Let me in!"

On the bay, a large solar farm progresses nearby!

In the meantime, back and forth from the prefab to the bay, we're having fun.

Recipe:
Spicy chicken BBQ and slaw
Broccoli Slaw: Shred broccoli, mince onion & garlic, toss in lemongrass puree, lemon juice, pureed cilantro, just a tad of (DUKES) mayo to bind, sea salt, pepper.

Crock Pot Spicy Alpha-gal BBQ: Two packs of chicken thighs, fleshy part down. Over it pour a whole lotta sauce made from: minced garlic, onion, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar or jam, sesame oil, vinegar, sriracha. Cook on high until done, serve on sweet buns and top with a layer of broccoli slaw.

Summer Love
Ahhhhh summer. The bay is hopping with romance.
Now that we have teens, there has been a lot of discussion with our friends about rules once your child starts dating.

"Oh we're easy- we don't care who they're with / where they are / how late they stay out...!
We just have one little, simple rule:
You must take a mastiff with you.
Ta ta, kids! Have fun!"
Mastiff in the back seat:  "Grrrrrrrrrrrrr... don't touch my child... Grrrrrrrrr..."
"Why do they want to leave our herd?"
But I think we still have awhile before we have to think about that stuff.
In the meantime, I'll be there, and here.

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