Solar power / Guides

Water efficiency
Plumbing and water heaters

How to save money on your hot water bills!

...Solar water heaters solar hot water heater diagram image via bonney.com If you’ve ever sat in a car with black leather seats in the summer, you already understand solar heat collection. The amount of heat that can be generated by the most rudimentary solar collection system is astounding. Check out our DIY so...

The Otis mobile tiny house
Tiny house

The Tiny House Movement may have gotten tinier with the arrival of Otis

...solar powered electrical system. This semester, his class went one better, constructing a 70 square-foot “living system” that can be towed on a standard 5 X 8-foot trailer. The pod-shaped tiny house includes indoor plumbing in the form of a composting toilet, a rainwater collection system, and a single 120-watt sol...

Artistic rendition of the 2000 square foot sustainable home being buil
Living Building Challenge

Taking the Living Building Challenge

...solar panels on the roof. This passive solar home will have an odour free composting toilet that turns it's waste into fertilizer, and be used in its own backyard for food production. Other features will be a rainwater treatment system for showers, photovoltaic solar panels feeding the power grid and pre-fab straw bale...

Are Small Wind Turbines for Homes Any Good?
Wind power

Is this the safest and most powerful small home wind turbine yet?

...PowerPod compact domestic wind turbine on Kickstarter claim that "for places that get less than 300 days of sun a year, a PowerPod could produce more power, for less money than solar panels" which really did make us wonder, as there are so many variables in play that we don't see how that can always be true. Importan...

Off-grid leed home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog post 5: appliances, mechanical and other systems

...power. The oven, however, requires a larger and more constant supply of power, as a heating element stays on at all times when the oven is heating. I have not been able to find the exact power draw for the stove heating element, but I think that it is around 200 or 300 watts. It would have saved a bit of electricity ...

Electric vehicle charging station
Commuting

Electric Vehicles getting help from the provinces

...power doesn't come from thin air, that's the first thing to realize. If you burn coal or gas to generate power to charge a car, doesn't that mean you are still driving around on fossil fuels? Yep. However, it's likely most car charging will happen at off peak hours, either because it happens when you are home sleeping,...

Ecohome's Kenogami House 'The Most Resilient Home in North America'
Concept and design

Resilient design features for new home construction

...Solar thermal panels powered by photovoltaics: pumps and fans for hydronic solar panels (liquid) or air solar thermal panels or even air solar heated floor slabs can be powered by a small photovoltaic panel . Heated concrete floors are a great way to store and distribute heat over extended periods of time making the mo...

Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

A Toronto Off-grid home 20 years later; how did it fare?

...Solar energy collection A successful strategy to power a home with solar energy begins like the water system, with the core principle of first reducing demand. To that end, the appliances and systems of this house were designed and chosen for their reduced operational demand of energy. On the roof are eight photovo...

Backyard solar panels
Grants and incentives

The Ontario MicroFIT program

...solar and wind projects cannot be built on residential properties but can be built on commercial properties and farmland not deemed residential. 60% of the manufacturing and/or production process for solar projects must be done in Ontario. For a solar project to be considered “rooftop solar” it must be built on an ...

Passive solar heating & cooling in Homes has a long history in USA
Passive solar home design

Passive house and passive solar - free heat for homes

...solar collection in home design - active and passive. An active solar home has an expensive array of panels; either photovoltaic for power generation or thermal solar for heat collection. Both are complicated systems that will likely include some moving parts that will eventually, without fail.... fail. Passive solar...

Tiny Tack House living room
Tiny house

The tiny house movement: Tiny Tack House

...solar power generation, carries its own water, has a full kitchen and bathroom, but is also capable of plugging into the grid at an RV Park if need be. The Tacks are currently running their home on 100% solar power and loving it. This is not an entirely common lifestyle, but Chris and Malissa are by no means alone. T...