|ALL ABOUT WATER|
Guests and students alike love the greenhouse shower. Surrounded by plants and rocks, under a lemon tree, hot water cascades out of a log.
Since solar electricity pumped the water out of the ground, solar hot water panels heated it and it drains into my beautiful back yard to water trees and berries, it is a guilt-free experience to shower as long as one pleases. Especially on a sunny day. Rain water catchment, as shown by the earth ship people, can be used - even in arid regions - to cover a household's needs as long as proper filtration and storage are employed. It also makes great cooking- and drinking water if one's well water is very hard.
For any major agricultural ventures such as large greenhouses and outside gardens it is advisable to have a well as backup, since droughts do happen; with new efficient pumps on the market even deep wells can be operated on moderately sized solar electric systems Using a large tank or pond, located within a greenhouse, to store water helps even out power supply fluctuations while keeping temperatures comfortable - an example of the permaculture principle of stacking functions.
|SOLAR HOT WATER|
Within the 'sun belt' states it is extemely easy to cover 90% or more of a household's hot water needs with an 'inexpensive' solar system. I cobbled my first one together twelve years ago from used components, with automotive radiator tubing and hose clamps. I spent around $700 on parts and it still works fine. On maybe ten days per year the storage tank gets down to 'lukewarm' due to an extended cloudy spell, in which case I use a small wood-fired heater to bump up the temperature; or - if i feel like supporting the war-mongerers at halliburton - I can also be lazy and use a propane on-demand heater.
My solar system has payed me back many times over, in money and in joy, and given that it is very simple to maintain I do not understand why so many still insist on hurting the planet to have the comfort of hot water - after all, they are hurting their own wallets, too...
Same goes for radiant floor heating - solar panels go great with wood-fire back up [or propane, if you must...] to provide comfortable heat all winter long. Both the domestic hot water and the hydronic radiant floor system at the Solar Ark work grid-independent, without electronic components, so that they are super easy to install, maintain and troubleshoot. Anybody can learn how to build, or at least design, their own.
It is not possible to walk in beauty but shower in Halliburton.
Solar hot water is the ethical choice. Just do it...
[there are all kinds of federal and state tax credits available. So let's see, we have here an ethical choice that's kind to your wallet and at the same time kind to the planet.
Shouldn't be a hard decision...]