As several of you may know, Northfield Construction Company has been active energy conserving measures for new construction for many, many years. We build some of the first solar homes in the area in the mid-1970’s, including homes with active solar water heating systems. We continue to stay abreast of energy issues.
This afternoon I met with a potential client that plans to construct a new home….but the home will not be connected to the main electric energy grid. This will be an exciting project! We will be erecting a 70′ wind tower with a 1.5 KW generator. There will be a large battery array in an outbuilding for power storage. Some power will be converted to alternating current for general use, and some power will be used in the generated direct current form. There will also be a system of photovoltaic cells to provide additional power. The final power source will be a gas driven generator to charge the batteries if they should drop below a specified level and the wind or sun systems can’t provide enough charge….a rare condition.
As you might guess, there will be sigificant costs to these systems. We will build the home using state of the art insulation technology which will also carry some additional costs. However, this client is committed to doing some research and investing in some alternative products to see if he can create and live in a modern functioning home that is off the grid.
I’ll keep readers posted on the progress of this home as moves along. We are just doing the planning work now, so it will be about a year until occupancy.