A former Timberhomes client has recently had solar electric panels and a solar hot water heater installed on the roof of his off-grid post and beam cabin. The cabin was built in New Hampshire in the summer of 2012, and is a full timber frame. Our client describes the new system:
“From the start I wanted an off grid cabin that I could stay in any time of year. I also wanted it to be as self contained as possible with minimal inputs needed from outside. “
To that end, avoiding freezing pipes during winters in northern New England would take some thought for an off-grid building without continuous occupancy. The newly installed solar thermal system will feed warm water into 400′ of radiant pipe in the full, walk-out basement slab, with the goal of keeping the indoor air temperature at or above 50 degrees year round. In central New Hampshire, on a fairly exposed site, this could mean maintaining an indoor temperature that’s easily 60 – 70 degrees different from the outdoor air. The radiant pipe is set 18″ deep into a 24″ deep bed of sand, surrounded by 4″ of rigid foam insulation, and will be fed year-round by the solar thermal system. Radiant Floor Company of Barton, VT helped our client design the system.
The post and beam cabin is on a stunning site in central New Hampshire, with ideal solar orientation and no obstructions. The solar electric system was sized to take care of all electrical needs, including lights and a well pump. Federal and State grants helped pay for both of these systems.