Solar House Plans
Solar house plans date back to the times of the Anasazi Indians
who lived in southern Colorado and needed to find a design for
maximum warmth. Their homes were built on the slopes of a south
facing canyon wall, to capture the heat of the sun during Colorado's
Due to overpopulation as well as the need to be in a city for
the daily work routines, we all cannot build a home at the southern
base of a mountain or canyon. To make up for it we can build a
solar house or adapt our own homes for solar energy use. There
are many solar house plans available, but most will not work in
all conditions and areas.
A solar house plan that may work well in southern Colorado most
likely will not work in Queensland, Australia. It is important to
remember that to have a solar house, is to take advantage of all
the "green" opportunities available in your particular
The most popular solar house plans use passive collectors or photovoltaic
panels to either create electricity to power the home or to heat
water to provide warmth for the home. These types of solar house
plans typically place solar panels on the rooftops, but can also
place them in other locations such as the tops of carports, decks
or as standalone units in the yard.
In a colder climate, one can start planning their solar house with
a convection style approach, which will allow the best circulation
of the heat in the home during the cold winter months. The solar
house plan should not only incorporate good insulation, but an open
plan as well.
You'll want to be able to keep the temperature inside at whatever
level is needed with as little loss as possible. To do this, having
a well-insulated design for a solar house plan will allow you house
to stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer months.
A good solar house plan that will incorporate an open floor plan
is another popular choice, as you need for the air in your home
to be able to circulate freely. This will assist in the maintaining
of the solar home's temperature.
The fundamentals of all solar house plans keep the same ideas and
concept. The reason for the changes in the exterior look as well
as the layout can be broken down into two parts. This first is personal
preference. If you're looking for a workable solar house plan, you
must know what your personal preferences are in any home.
The second fundamental of solar house plans is region. As all corners
of the world are different, so is the climate. The climate of an
area can change from season to season as well as from one mile to
another. These changes in the climatic breakdown of the Earth's
surface means that no two solar homes in different regions will
look the same.
Most solar house plans will need to be adapted to the surrounding
climate and region. For instance, in the U. S., a solar house plan
for Wisconsin, a region that inherently has much less intense sunlight
and less days of sunny skies may use a solar house plan designed
to provide heat. This is opposed to a solar house plan in Arizona
or Nevada that is designed to generate electricity that will both
heat and cool the home and even be able to sell the excess of electricity
back to the grid for a profit in some regions.
Solar house plans in some regions may combined home-building elements
for maximum effect. For instance, and underground or earth-berm
home may also include solar panels for added heat or electricity.
There are a few solar homes starting to be built that combine solar
panels with hydrogen storage.
These homes use solar energy during the day to create electricity
and electrolyze water into hydrogen. The hydrogen is then stored
in tanks for night and winter use at which time it is run through
a fuel cell the create electricity for the home. The solar house
plans are still leading edge as not many have been built yet, but
you'll be hearing more about them in the months and years to come.
The solar-hydrogen house plans will be especially attractive in
years to come for those in outlying areas who may not have access
to the electrical grid. No matter what solar house plans you choose
to work with though, make sure the company that you're contracting
with is reputable, can give references and has success stories
to share about homes they've built with their solar energy systems.
Another good combination is the use of solar panels on underground
homes. With underground or earth sheltered homes, there is
already natural insulation of the ground and thus fewer solar
panels are needed to maintain warmth in the winter and coolness
in the summer.