Welcome to the Maine Solar House
January, 2015 Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 02 February 2015 11:30


pvjan152015 got off to a good start with a PV generation of 313 kWhrs. It would have been even higher if two snowstorms hadn't decided to 'dump' on us. That's not sour grapes, just a little perspective. In fact, it's snowing now and if the forecast is right, today's 12 inches will be added to the combined total of 21 inches from last week for a 7-day accumulation of 33 inches. Now that's winter.

Solar Living in Maine During the Winter:

You've heard it before, but there is great joy living in a solar home. The benefits in the winter are considerable:

  • Passive solar gain through the south-facing windows - yielding an indoor temperature in the high 70s on sunny days.
  • Having to open the windows to 'manage' the extra heat.
  • Enjoying our wood stove when the temperature goes down below 20 at night.
  • Enjoying our radiant heat in the floors and shower in the morning - much of it from our 1,000 gallons of hot water generated by the solar thermal panels on the roof.
  • Trusting that if the power goes out, our battery backup system will provide power to our necessary loads until the grid power returns.
  • Etc, etc, etc!

    Here's a video shot several years ago about Solar Living in Maine:

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 February 2015 16:03
2012 Annual Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:19

Overview: Well, after double checking the data for 2012, our Photovoltaic array output generated - are you ready? The total is 4,440 kWhrs. I had, over the years, used the January output numbers as the starting point instead of the previous month's numbers thus eliminating a full month of PV generation. I am greatly pleased at discovering my error.

pvdec12In December, we generated a mere 217 kWhrs - heavy cloud cover and snow storms really cut into the month's output. But, I'm pleased with the annual total. If I used the 11 month total, the result compares favorably with previous years.

evdec12Plug-In Prius: My overall MPG remains the same, at 112, which is an accomplishment considering the need for heat - the compressor comes on for approximately 5 minutes and then every once in a while.

The 11 mile range seen in this image is down approximately 20% from the warmer months - batteries lose capacity in colder weather. Fortunately, my local driving is still within that range. My last refueling was on November 12th!

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 March 2013 11:30
October, 2012 Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 07:21

Sandy: We were lashed with 50+ mph winds and inches of rain, but our home remained tight and snug. While many areas along the Maine coast lost power, we were fortunate that the gird stayed 'on' - however, our backup system was ready to take over if needed. Our home is so well built that we don't hear or feel the wind until it reaches at least 30 mph.

oct12PV Output: We generated 278 kWhrs of power in October - below normal due to extensive cloudiness. This brings us to 3,739 kWhrs for the year with two months to go. We should generate more than our annual goal of 4,000 kWhrs.

evoct12Plugin Prius: My new Plugin Prius is doing amazingly well. This shot, taken on October 31st, is no Halloween joke - 112 mpg average for the first three months of my lease. Admittedly, I use the car primarily within a 12 mile radius, but even the hybrid mode (coming 'on' as it does on longer trips) produces a satisfying result of 55+ mpg and the engine remains 'off' for the first 13 miles. I am totally pleased!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 09:59
November, 2012 Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 December 2012 13:39

nov12Overview: We're headed toward the end of the year and the positive results are piling up. PV electricial output registered 310 kWhrs of electricity produced in November which brings us to 4,049 kWhrs year to date. We'll make our goal of 4,200 kWhrs for the year handily (our minimum goal is 4,000). Now that the approach of winter is chilling the air, the passive solar gain in the house on sunny days is a blessing - up to 78 degrees without the heat being on!

The Plugin Prius is still doing nicely at 111 mpg. I notice that as the temperature in the garage declines, the capacity of the battery has declined from 13 miles to 11.5. Still, not too shabby a way to pass by the gas station - under power generating by the sun.

Amazing!: From time-to-time, this site attracts solar pioneers who have made a significant impact on the industry - witness Andy Baker of Anchorage Alaska. His company is using cold sea water to heat the Alaska SeaLife Center, replacing 500 gallons of heating oil a day! Best way to view the 'unbelieveable' is to go here. Thanks, Andy for contacting us.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:03
September, 2012 Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 08:12

4.6Bulletin: The Maine Solar House weathered a 4.6 earthquake on September 16th at 7:12 p.m. We could hear/feel it approaching, took a sizeable jolt and then observed it diminishing - total time around 10-15 seconds. The epicenter was 16 miles away at a depth of only one mile. I've never felt anything like that here in Maine.

sept12Monthly Report: The September sun did well by us as our 4.2 kW array generated 382 kWhrs of electricity. Running total for the first nine months is 3,461 kWhrs generated in 2012. Without a meteor striking the house, we'll easily make the 4,000 kWhr goal and then some.

Plugin Prius:  Our new Plugin Pirus, now two months old and with some 2,000 miles on the odmeter, is averaging 109MPG! What a joy to only have to buy gas every 2 1/2 weeks. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 07:44
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