Pointed at the Sun

Posted on Dec 22 by Christina Glennon

Abstract

An innovative solar-heating system is the foundation of an artist’s small country house, where an equally smart plan accommodates both life and work

The husband-and-wife architectural partnership of David Arkin and Anni Tilt is known to push the boundaries of sustainable building. In this case, they whittled down a proposed 2500-sq.-ft. project to create a 1600-sq.-ft. home for a California artist and her two children; it uses both active and passive solar strategies to gather electricity and heat. The house shares a roof with a 300-sq.-ft. guest apartment, and shares the site with a shop/studio that's sized to lead a double life as a garage. The heart of the house, though, is a sand-bed heat bank. That's where glycol heated at the photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. collector courses through tubing and heats the slab to about 75°F. The solar system has cut the homeowner's energy costs in half.

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