Energy Efficient Homes
Planetary Systems offers expertise in design and execution of building as completely sustainable homes or commercial properties as are possible using currently available and proven technologies. Your complete cooperation as a customer and user is absolutely required.
Given the current state of world affairs, climate, economics and technology, you CANNOT expect to put a few solar panels on your home or a wind generator up and realistically make that home energy profile neutral or NET ZERO. It just is fuzzy logic to think so. In order for a home to be energy neutral, it must make MORE than it uses, daily, monthly and yearly.
In a world of 7 billion people wanting energy, time is running out for grids and municipal services, and as they look for more energy, water and waste disposal, the planet and ultimately the people are the losers. What does it take to have a truly energy efficient home? YOU CANNOT EXPECT TO OPERATE ELECTRIC OVENS, ELECTRIC COOKTOPS, ELECTRIC HOT WATER HEATERS, ELECTRIC DRYERS or any Electric Resistance or standard heat pump system in an off-grid mode or even in grid tie. These devices are simply too inefficient to use in the 21st century.
Appliances: You must have the most energy efficient appliances available, not based on some energy sticker but in real amps and watts, this is especially true for the big energy users, like fridges. Our LG model is the lowest usage fridge we have found so we sell it. Limit your use of energy guzzling flat-screen TVs-they all have an instant on feature which makes them use about 30 watts per hour even when off. Put them on a power strip and turn them, as well as your modems or satellite receivers off when not in use.
Heating & Cooling: Radiant heat is the only option, whether using radiant in-floor pex tubing with an efficient gas boiler or radiators. In some states further south, solar thermal systems can be used to supplement heating, but in northern states, there is simply not enough energy available from solar energy in winter. We recommend using wood boilers wherever possible in northern states for winter heating. It is a little bit of work, but pays off big. A simple one or two pump system with radiant heat can be operated on an off-grid system in most areas using wind, sun and usually both.
Lighting: Use LED and CFL combinations in all lighting-Planetary Systems sells LED lighting to our power systems customers at a discount. Nearly all types of bulbs and FL tube replacement are available. LED lighting is at least 75% more efficient than conventional lighting.
Water Supply: Planetary Systems highly recommends and sells the Grundfos SQ-Flex pump system for all our off-grid customers. Practically speaking, nothing else compares in energy consumption. Planetary Systems can design and supply any kind of water suuply, large or small including well pump systems, water catchment and clean-up and pump-storage systems.
Air Conditioning: In most every location that used to hit 100 occasionally, you will probably need air conditioning in the future, as the climate warms. In some cases, over 110F may be the new norm and may last for weeks. Power services will be affected so an off-grid system will be required. There are a few systems like Solar-cool and Sedna-Aire which can run on off-grid inverter/battery systems and which we now offer for sale.
Solar and Wood Hot Water Heating: Utilizing solar thermal heating for hot water is reliable and economical. Our systems usually are a hybrid with an instantaneous gas water heater coupled with a solar thermal collector and tank. Additional tanks my be added depending on storage required and hot water use. A typical conservative energy home will be able to install a 15-tube collector, 50gal tank and Takagi instantaneous gas heater and use very little gas for the backup unit annually. Some situations where wood can be used for heating, the entire system can be operated on solar thermal and wood heat alone using two tanks.
Making your home energy efficient will end up being the most economical thing you will do in the 21st century and you will not regret it. Being Off-grid is and will be more preferable than gird tie or net metering as all those tax and billing benefits are based on grants and kick-backs and tax loopholes which will be going away very soon as they are not economically sustainable for either utilities or governments. And if you are thinking you can rely on all those solar farms and wind generators they have installed, think again. Without massive subsidies, the power from these systems have limited travel and would cost about $ 0..75 per kwh if you could get it. You can make your own power with wind and solar, independent from the grid for about $ 0.10 per kwh at current system prices.