Sensational Solar Home Designs perfect for the Okanagan
Tips & Advice from your Kelowna Electricians at Greenway Electrical
Solar has come a long way over the last twenty years, the cost of installing solar panels has come down, and the efficiency of solar panels has gone up, just in time as we begin to see a rise in fuel costs, and since we’ve hit peak oil production, we know that the cost of oil is going to rise, and this means our heating bills will steadily increase year by year. Unless we take steps necessary to bring our electricity and gas bills down. We could put on yet another sweater, we can make sure we are insulated and double glazed, but those rising gas prices still have an effect on our use of lights and hot water.
Unless we turn to an abundant source of energy: Solar.
And it’s not just Greenway Electrical who knows a future of solar home energy solutions lies ahead for Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley. The installation of solar in New York State over has risen by 300 percent from 2011-2014. Universities, architects and energy providers are all investing time, money and brainpower into the development of sustainable, solar homes.
Cost effective, comfortable and clearly a good way forward for citizens of a new climate-changed planet.
As certified solar installers in Kelowna, Greenway Electrical has investigated a few of these new home designs and found a resource of blueprints for all progressive home builders looking for a home design that is sun inspired.
As we researched solar homes, we found many designs took a step beyond solar sustainable homes into other areas of self-sufficiency. For example the GRoW home integrates a greenhouse into the design, with a garden in the center of the house, you can enjoy both a beautiful in-home green space and have an inner solarium.
The designers of this home incorporate a natural flow in the floor plan, to encourage conscious urban living and sustainability. The GRoWlarium provides an area where residents can sow and harvest crops. This ultra-efficient design does require a little involved management. Homeowners work with the technology to harness the energy of solar, wind and thermal waves. A 24-Silevo-panel photovoltaic system is on the roof, which produces 9MWh per year; this is estimated to be double the amount of energy needed.
The next home was designed by the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The Nest Home, so called because of its cozy size, not its shape, residents or building materials. This home was constructed out of three shipping containers. A wise choice, as fuel prices rise, so will the cost of shipping and as a result we will soon see a lot of disused and discarded shipping containers.
This home has installed a photovoltaic array, a greywater reuse system and a hydroponic garden, all you could ever need for your corner of Eden. As long as the sun continues to shine and the rain fall all will be well in your Nest Home.
From the safety of the nest to the strength of the Sure House. Students at Stevens Institute of Technology designed this home specifically for residents on the coastal areas of New York and New Jersey. In a bid to respond to homeowners who were asking for architecture that could withstand the effects of climate changes, this home uses 90 percent less energy than a standard home and has a self-sufficient system to guarantee the lights stay on even if the power grid is down.
Solar-powered homes are the way of the future, and there are homes available to suit all budgets. This prefab solar home was designed for low-income agricultural workers.
And for everyone who would like to build themselves a solar home. Think about the Sun-Inspired House. Passive systems are incorporated into the design, and the designs themselves are free to download at
Debra Rucker Coleman, the architect behind Sun Plans offers the blueprints for free and has this to say about her wonderful designs.
“Our sun-inspired house designs are inspired by the movement of the sun. Our sun is the most important element that we can see. It is literally the center of our world and with out it there would be no life on earth. Our sun-inspired home plans capture the non-polluting heat and wonderful light of the sun.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, in Kelowna we have an abundance of sunshine that we could all be using to heat, light and fuel our homes.
Want to talk solar with a Kelowna electrician – give us a call and let the sunshine inspire your home.