[NMSEA-news] NMSEA News, Events & Announcements
News from New Mexico Solar Energy Association
nmsea-news at nmsea.org
Fri Jan 13 16:14:43 MST 2012
Happy New Year, Solar Supporters!
Here are the Latest News, Events & Announcements from NMSEA
Please Check Our Event Calendar
<http://www.nmsea.org/Events/Event_Calendar.php> for Additional Event
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Or contact us with questions & comments. We value your input!
*- **DATE CHANGE**:** NMSEA Board of Directors Meeting (Jan 21)
**- New NMSEA Office Hours***
* **- **NMSEA SunPaper Archives Online
*/-/ *New Mexico** Solar Energy Association on Facebook*/
- *JAN 14: Sustainable Homes Tour - **/Las Vegas, NM/*
- *JAN 21: NMSEA Board of Directors Meeting - /Albuquerque, NM
/*- *JAN 24: NMSEA Albuquerque Chapter Meeting - /Albuquerque, NM/*
*DATE CHANGE**:** NMSEA Board of Directors Meeting (Jan 21)*
The next NMSEA Board of Directors meeting has been moved from January 14
to January 21. Please update your calendars accordingly, and feel free
to contact the NMSEA office with questions: (505) 246-0400
*New NMSEA Office Hours
*Beginning January 2012, NMSEA's Albuquerque office (1009 Bradbury SE
#35, 87106) will be open the following hours:
Monday 1pm-5pm, Tuesday 9am-1pm, Closed Wednesday, Thursday 9am-1pm,
Please call the office during regular hours or contact us a day ahead to
schedule an appointment if you plan to stop by in order to ensure that
someone will be available to assist you. For general information or
other inquiries, you may also visit NMSEA online at: www.NMSEA.org
*NMSEA SunPaper Archives - Now Available Online
*/ /*A selection of past SunPaper editions are now also available for
reference online. For more details, please visit the NMSEA website
*New Mexico Solar Energy Association on Facebook
*NMSEA is also using Facebook to spread the word about our educational
outreach, upcoming events & fundraising drives.
If you would like updates about solar energy innovations, events and
sustainability related news, please visit NMSEA on Facebook
and press the "Like" button!
*JAN 14: Sustainable Homes Tour - **/Las Vegas, NM/**/
/*9am-12:30pm & 1pm-4:30pm at the Las Vegas Arts Council building, 140
Sustainable Las Vegas wants to give area residents ideas about how to
save money and conserve precious natural resources by improving their
homes. The tour features local homes that provide examples of how
electrical and heating bills can be reduced or even eliminated by using
the energy of the sun as well as various conservation measures. One home
on the tour actually makes money by using solar panels and selling the
surplus electricity back to PNM! The homes also include greywater
systems and rainwater harvesting to reduce or eliminate dependence on
well water or city water.
Different designs and approaches are showcased in the homes chosen for
the tour. One of the homes is a conventional home that has been
extensively modified by the owner to be far more energy and water
efficient. This home is a fine example of what owners of existing homes
can do to reduce water and electrical usage.
The first home on the tour uses a passive solar approach. This architect
designed home constructed in 2004 gets most of its heat from the sun
using 13 south-facing patio door-sized windows. Winter sun (which drops
low in the sky at this time of year) penetrates deep inside while
appropriate roof overhangs exclude summer sun, which is higher in the
sky. Successful passive solar design also requires a massive internal
structure to absorb the sun's heat. A concrete floor with radiant heat
as well as massive walls and plaster provide the mass here. The backup
propane-fired boiler is rarely used but a wood stove is used most evenings.
Asolar water heating system was added in 2007 and provides all of the
homeâ€™s hot water. Two glycol-cooled panels send heat to an 80 gallon
Becausethe home was designed to be energy efficient with a tight
building envelope and energy efficient appliances the home uses almost
no fossil fuel and consumes only 200 kW hours of electricity per month.
Aboutone year ago a 1.8 kW grid-connected PV system was installed.
During its first year in operation it has provide all the electrical
needs of the home and sold over 1300 kW hours back to the grid.
Rainwater is collected from some roofs and used for landscaping. A
vegetable garden employing drip irrigation was very successful.
Greywater from laundry, shower and bathroom sinks is distributed to
landscaping as well.
The second homefeatured is an Earthship. This owner-built home was
undertaken as an experiment in conservation and simplicity. According to
its originators an Earthship creates its own utilities including
electricity, water and climate and is made using readily available and
sustainable materials. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship )
Heatingand cooling of the home are provided entirely by the sun.
South-facing glass and a tight, massive building envelope do the job
here as well. The home is earth bermed and partially earth covered.
Ventilating skylights help keep the home comfortable in summer.
Electricityis supplied by a 1.5 kW off-grid PV system capable of
producing about 250 kWh/month. Even this seemingly small system provides
enough power for a conventional refrigerator, two desk-top computers, a
washing machine as well as lights, water pressure and small appliances.
With a set of replacement batteries the system is performing even
better, recovering more quickly after several cloudy days.
Central to the owners experimentation was relying on catchment alone as
their source of water. Could it be done in the arid Southwest? The
answer is yes but not without some adjustments in life-style.
Rainwateris collected from all roofs, including out-buildings. Water
used for drinking is purified using filters and ultraviolet light, but
apart from that the plumbing is the same as for any home.
Thehome was built by its owners and they can tell you how labor
intensive Earthship construction can be. But sweat equity can be its own
reward and using recycled materials such as tires and bottles met their
Additionsto the home are built with highly insulating straw bales.
However, lacking passive solar they do not heat nearly as well as the
sunlit central home, which shows the added benefit of capturing the
Improvingthe performance of an existing home is the best way to save
energy. The third home on the tour is a conventional home that has
upgraded by its owners to conserve energy and water. This home in Ojitos
Frios will give tour participants great ideas on simple strategies to
improve the performance and comfort of their current homes.
Builtin 1996, this Ojito Frios home formerly used an inefficient boiler
to heat the radiant concrete slab floor. The owners replaced it with
five glycol-cooled solar panels to supply space heat and domestic hot
water. The system was expanded to seven panels recently and does the job
for a family of six. A converted garage serving as a guest house is
warmed by solar air heaters and requires little additional heat.
Severewater shortages afflicting the area were addressed by an extensive
rain water catchment system. The family has relied solely on rainwater
for all its needs for two and one half years, including 4500 gallons
reserved for livestock and pets. Twenty thousand gallons of above and
below ground tanks store water from the roofs. Water for the household
is purified by passing it through a series of filters followed by
Anaddition to the home currently under construction has a concrete floor
placed over four inches of rigid Styrofoam. Greywater from the bathroom
will be sent to an aeration tank before distribution. A composting
toilet will be installed. This entire project shows how careful water
management can be accomplished; the family, including teenagers, uses
500 gallons per week.
Since the homes are outside of the city, the tour includes van-pooling
to the sites; a guide will describe the features of the homes and
encourage discussion. A donation is requested to cover transportation
costs. Space will be limited so reserve your place by contacting Emelie
Olson by phone 454-3920 or by email eolson at desertgate.com
minutes before departure; you may sign up on the day of the event at the
The event is co-sponsored by the NMHU Conservation Club and Community
*JAN 21: NMSEA Board of Directors Meeting - /Albuquerque, NM/**/
/*11:30 Potluck; 12–3 pm at NMSEA Office Board Room: 1009 Bradbury Dr.
SE, ABQ 87106
Please bring a potluck dish & join us for our monthly NMSEA Board
meeting at the NMSEA Office in Albuquerque!
Board meetings are open to all members. Please contact the NMSEA office
in advance if you wish to add an item to the agenda or speak during the
For more information, please contact the NMSEA office at: (505) 246-0400
or info at nmsea.org <mailto:info at nmsea.org>.
*JAN 24: NMSEA Albuquerque Chapter Meeting - /Albuquerque, NM
/*6-8pm at REI, 1550 Mercantile Ave NE , 87107
Put the “Happy” in the New Year and join NMSEA for our monthly Chapter
Meeting in Albuquerque. In January, Chapter co-leader Jim DesJardin
will let us in on “What’s New with Solar in 2012,” including information
regarding pricing, PNM incentives, new technologies, and more reasons to
be there include networking, door prizes and finger foods! Please
REGISTER ONLINE <http://www.rei.com/event/21357/session/26478>
<http://www.rei.com/event/21357/session/26478> if you plan to attend to
insure enough noshes. Free & open to the public.
*New Mexico Solar Energy Association*
1009 Bradbury Dr. SE, # 35, Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-246-0400, 888-886-6765, Fax: 505-246-2251
info at nmsea.org <mailto:info at nmsea.org> www.nmsea.org
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