Sun dome!

sundomeSMToday I installed a Velux sun tunnel in the roof of the cottage. It was Emily’s idea‚Ķ our house has PLENTY of natural light, but none in the pantry. Now it does, without having a window! Instead, the sunlight travels down this super-reflective tube and pops out in the ceiling of the pantry, in a fixture that looks a lot like an electric light. Of course, we’ll have a little electric light in there for nighttime, but it’s nice knowing that you can get around in the house all day long without ever flipping a switch.

Speaking of switches and sunlight, the solar panels are working great! We had four or five days of overcast in a row, and the batteries never dropped below 76% charge. A good day of sun filled them back up- and that’s with only three quarters of our panels installed. Of course, I have only been using it to run power tools and a few work lights, so it will be interesting to see how it performs when I have a fridge and well pump hooked up, and live there full time. Those are the biggest loads.

This entry was posted in Construction, News and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Sun dome!

  1. anneball says:

    Wow! It looks really pretty too! It this a red roof?!? super cool!

  2. ChickenBrian says:

    Nice. These little domes are cool. Be interesting to see if it “Fades” over time because of fouling on the dome.

    Your Well pump will be pretty intermittent. So as long as the showers are kept short, that wouldn’t concern me as much as the Fridge. Will be interesting to see how it all goes.

    If the pump is a concern you might want to consider long term a Water storage tank up on the hill above the house. Then in periods of strong sun, pump water up there, and then can conserve and even turn the pump off if you wanted to during an expected period of overcast. USE the power when it can be refilled.

    • jim says:

      Yes! That’s a great idea. That’s basically a kinetic energy battery, instead of a chemical one. The farmer across the street does just that: he has an elevated tank for watering his cows, and when the sun’s out, the pump fills it, and when it’s cloudy/nighttime, it dispenses water as needed using just the hydrostatic head from the elevation. No batteries~ and the batteries are the expensive part. We looked into doing that, but there isn’t enough height above the house to get much pressure unless we build a watertower. Which might happen some day? Who knows.

  3. mazbeach says:

    Down here in Mexico almost everybody has a head tank, called a tinaco, on the roof because of the low pressure in the city system. We collect city water in a cistern under our cochera and use a pump to move the water up to the tinaco. You could elevate your head tank away from the house out of site and source it from both the well and collected rain water. You do get rain there, don’t you? Giggle.

Leave a Reply