Category Archives: Solar

solar panels, wind turbines, equipment and plans to create Alternative Energy plants.

What You Need To Know About Swimming Pools

 Do you know what you need to know about swimming pools?  

You need to know about your swimming pool that In addition to taking care of and doing maintenance there are usually some legal requirements that need to be met if  you have a home swimming pool.

Swimming Pools what you need to know
Swimming Pools what you need to know

In the warmer areas of North America, swimming pools are very popular. They provide great fun and exercise, along with plenty of entertainment for your entire family. When you decide to buy a swimming pool, you’ll have two options to choose from – in ground pools or above ground pools. Both types are different, in appearance and what they have to offer you.

Above ground swimming pools are the most affordable, as the prices range from $500.00 – $7,000.00. Above ground pools are also easier to install, and even portable. Normally, you can have this type of pool installed and ready for use in a few hours. You can self install them if you wish, which will save you money. If you have the money to spare, you can always have a professional install it to ensure that everything is done correctly.

Pools that are in the ground cost a lot more. The prices for an in ground swimming pool can reach as high as $50,000.00, depending on the size of the pool, the design, and the materials that are used. The most expensive type of in ground pool is concrete, which is custom poured to virtually any shape you can imagine.

You can also get a heater to help control the temperature of the water in the pool. You can get a standard type of heater or solar heater. If you have a solar heater in mind, you should make sure that your pool has been placed in a location where it will receive a lot of sun. If you use a solar powered heater but don’t place your pool in the sun, it’ll prove to be a waste of money.

To protect yourself in the long run, you should always refer to the zoning laws for your area regarding a swimming pool or a deck.

Know your swimming pool regulations
Know your swimming pool regulations

This way, you’ll know what the laws are regarding your swimming pool. Once you know what the laws and regulations are, you should always do anything you can to ensure that you meet the requirements and that your pool is within the guidelines.

Even though heat and hot summer days are the main reasons why most want a pool, there are other benefits as well. Swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for your body, so a pool will offer you a lot of health benefits. Keep in mind that unless you are using a heater to heat your pool, you’ll only be able to use it during the summer. If you choose to use a heater however, you can extend summer and get a lot more enjoyment from your swimming pool.

solar swimming pool heater saves energy
solar swimming pool heater saves energy

Once you have bought your pool and have everything going, it can cost you quite a bit to keep everything going. Pools need to be maintained, which can tend to be expensive. You can do this yourself or hire a professional, although either way will cost money. The equipment you’ll need and the chemicals are expensive, and you should know that up front before you make your purchase.

All in all, swimming pools are great for your property. Whether it’s an above ground swimming pool or in ground pool, your family will love it. You’ll have somewhere to go on hot days together, to relax and enjoy the cool water. Once you have a swimming pool you won’t have to use the local pool anymore – and you won’t have to deal with the crowds or long lines anymore.

 

Wrap Your Home in A Greenhouse

Would You Wrap Your Home in a Greenhouse?

In 1976 Marie Granmar and Charles Sacilotto  in Stockholm wrapped  their summer home in a greenhouse according to an article written by Yuka Yoneda in 2010 and published in http://inhabitat.com/naturhus-an-entire-house-wrapped-in-its-own-private-greenhouse/

Wrap Your House in a Greenhouse
Wrap Your House in a Greenhouse

A New Way to Insulate Your Home

They implemented this method of insulation, after deciding to use an existing summer home to live in year round.  

Since they were unable to find a lot near their current location to build a permanent home, they took a different approach!  

Since Charles is an engineer, he evidently thinks outside the box plus he was acquainted with an architect who had been designing similar houses since 1974.

 Some changes were made to the home before enclosing it in a permanent greenhouse.  The “roof” was no longer needed so that area was turned into living space and “outdoor” playing space for children.

The greenhouse   is made of extra thick pressure treated safety glass which means if it is broken it shatters into small pieces. 

Compare it to the safety glass used in cars, to give you an idea.  

Originally Sacilotto looked for an empty lot to build an entirely new Naturhus, but he eventually settled on an old summer house on the Stockholm archipelago.

Using Warne’s design, he covered the small summer house, plus an addition, in 4 millimeter glass. The footprint of the greenhouse is nearly double that of the home, leaving plenty of room for a wrap-around garden, and since inside the bubble it’s a Mediterranean climate, the couple now grow produce atypical for Sweden (e.g. figs, tomatoes, cucumbers).

The favorite spot is the glass-covered roof deck. Since there’s no longer need for a roof, the couple removed it and now have a large space for sunbathing, reading or playing with their son on swings and bikes.

The greenhouse isn’t the only novel point to the Granmar-Sacilotto home.

They are also completely independent from city sewage. Built by Sacilotto- an engineer by training-, the sewage system begins with a urine-separating toilet and uses centrifuges, cisterns, grow beds and garden ponds to filter the water and compost the remains.

* In the video, Granmar mentions architect Bengt Warne’s influence in the 1990s since this is the date he reached a larger audience with his book release.  Original story: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/…

Will living in a Greenhouse Save Money

Their results are amazing.  They were able to cut their electric consumption in half.  Also able to reduce the months when they need heat by two. 

A More recent article about their unusual home was featured in In Habitat which emphasized the wrapping as  protection from the cold.  

One of the benefits of the glass enclosure is that it expanded the living area of the home because of added decks, and use of the now flat roof as living space. 

Greenhouse saves on maintenance creates more living space
Wrap Your House in a Greenhouse Greenhouse saves on maintenance creates more living space

Of course they enjoy the benefits of growing vegetables, figs and other tropical plants that normally will not survive the sever winter cold in Stockholm.   

There is an suggestion at  Build it Solar that bubble wrap is being  used to insulate green houses. 

It would be a daunting undertaking to install bubble wrap on this greenhouse.

But Build It Solar wondered if it would work on their  windows in their home. 

Amazingly it made a big difference.  They estimate that their energy savings paid for installing the bubble wrap in just two months. 

There are detailed instructions with some nice pictures on the site.

How to Install Bubble Wrap on Windows as Insulation

 

To make it simple, cut your bubble wrap to the correct size for your window. 

Use a spray bottle and spray plain water on the window and apply the bubble wrap with the bubbles towards the window

Press in place and it usually stays in place. 

No glue needed.   

It seems that larger bubbles give a clearer view, but the small one work just fine. 

Also they added a second layer on top of the first layer when they used the small bubble wrap. 

Apply exactly the same as  when applying to a window.   

Why Haven’t More People Become Interested In Living in a Greenhouse?

It is amazing that this house and its greenhouse haven’t created a stir.

Since there is no exposure to the elements, the house’s exterior is really simple to maintain.  On the wood siding they applied an oil rub and nothing else.

The video on the page explains quite a lot of other things that they have done, even about how they handle waste water from the bathroom.  They have several methods of disposal and use a great deal of the water for growing plants. 

But to me, the amazing thing was the almost  outdoors feeling  you get on the roof and the balconies.  

Summer of course means opening and venting to reduce heat. 

Currently the greenhouse will not totally heat the house in the dead of winter, but if there is sunshine, it certainly lowers the heating requirements.  

I have a small above ground swimming pool and was looked at like I was not all there when I expressed a desire to build a greenhouse over it. 

Just wait till I tell the naysayers  about a house in a greenhouse! 

references:

  1. http://liveoutdoor.us/family-wraps-their-home-in-a-greenhouse-to-protect-it-from-the-cold/nggallery/image/floors/                                            2. http://inhabitat.com/naturhus-an-entire-house-wrapped-in-its-own-private-greenhouse/  3. http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Conservation/bubblewrap.htm

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C.

How to Make a Solar Water Heater that Heats Your Swimming Pool

Making a Solar Water Heater to Heat Your Swimming Pool

Make a solar water heater, if you would like to swim in the winter time and don’t want to spend a fortune heating your pool with a gas or electric pool heater.

I’ve found a DIY solution!

I always enjoy watching Andy Bailey’s Ms Video Diary on Facebook.

He is visiting his brother in Australia where  it is now Winter.  He posted a video showing off his first swim in Mike’s back yard pool.   Wow  17 C  which translates to 62.1 F.  Kinda on the cool side.

Went looking around and found this great article by Matthew Sparkes
Technology / Solar Technology 

Which almost takes you by the hand in using discarded coils from old refrigerators to construct a very economical pool or water heater using Solar.

Actually he was sharing an article written and published on the Instructables….except the article has been removed.

Here is an  excerpt:

Instructables user, TheNaib, has written a tutorial on how to create a solar thermal water heater for under five dollars.

It will involve a fair amount of DIY, but nothing too complicated. It’s designed as a fun project, but with some tweaking it could see real applications,

“Its a great way to learn about using the renewable energy of the sun to produce useful effects, in this case hot water.

You can use these instructions to build a device that will actually heat enough water to use in the home, but it would require modifications.

“Not only is it creating hot water using completely renewable energy, but it is also created from recycled scrap parts like the coolant grill from a refrigerator.”

If you do try this out, be warned that it can really heat up water quickly, and to quite an impressive temperature.

, “A word of warning, this panel works VERY WELL. We tested it on a very sunny day and within seconds the water coming out of the panel was hot enough TO SCALD. I burned my fingers.

This very hot water is only formed when the water inside the panel is allowed to sit for about a minute without moving.

If the water is moving (due to the gravity siphon) the water exiting the return pipe is about 110 degrees, and while hot, will not burn you.”

Build a 5 Dollar Solar Water Heater by TheNaib
Build a 5 Dollar Solar Water Heater by TheNaib

I know from reading other suggestions for building a pool solar water heater, they can sometimes be connected to the pool filter pump system to move the water to keep if from getting to hot.

Another option is to just buy a small pump and make your heater stand alone, or use gravity… I f you use only one coil in a panel, might be easy to make it a gravity feed and eliminate a pump altogether.

As Matthew notes in his article,  TheNaib at the Instructables has some more suggestions and a lot of comments from others that have more ideas.

In the meantime TheNaib removed his project from the Instructables and has it archived on his own site.  Link is here.
This is certainly a very doable project,  TheNaib titled it

Make a Solar Water Heater for under $5.00   

http://www.thesietch.org/projects/solarthermalpanel2/index.htm

Loads of good information.  Nothing to buy, he salvaged most of his materials  from the local dump which recycles.   You might have one near you.

For more Evergreen  Ideas, check out

https://www.facebook.com/UseSolar

Share our tip with a friend who might just be interested in building their own  solar swimming pool heater.