Heating and Cooling without PG&E

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This home design uses the sun to heat up an attic, through a glass roof via the greenhouse effect. The collected heat is then stored in sealed five gallon bottles of water covering the floor of the attic. The water bottles act like batteries, absorbing the heat and holding it until needed. Even in winter, this attic will get over 150 degrees, so there are thermostatically controlled louvers at the peak of the roof to bleed off excess heat when necessary.


The building is cooled by collecting clean air outside the building and blowing it through several three-inch diameter plastic pipes, buried eight to ten feet below the ground. These pipes are around 150 feet long. For this building, we used two pipes. Since the ground is a constant 55 degrees at that depth, this outside air will be cooled considerably by the time it reaches the sealed sanitary crawl space under the Living Area. There, the cooler temperatures are stored with the same type of sealed water bottles used in the attic.

When cool air is desired, mats over vents on the floor can be moved aside exposing floor grates to the crawl space. When heat is required. A small fan at the top of the attic can blow some heated attic down to the Living Area as needed.

French doors between the Living Area and the Sun Room offer more climate control. Even at northern latitudes, tropical trees and fruits can be grown in the Sun Room.

The small fans can be powered with one small photovoltaic collector and a Tesla battery pack.

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Bill Fisher

Bill has practiced environmentally sensitive modern architecture for over 40 years throughout the west. Bill's firm, William Fisher Architecture, has studios in Santa Cruz and designs residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional projects of all types and sizes.

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