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Solar-Panel 'Skin' May Be Future of Sustainable Home
3/14/2014

Pret-a-Loger is a project out of the Netherlands to retrofit a typical row home with a 'skin' of solar panels and smart technology to make the home more sustainable and energy neutral. The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, a competition started in 2002 to show the feasibility of solar energy to the housing industry.   (Source: Delf University of Technology)
Prêt-à-Loger is a project out of the Netherlands to retrofit a typical row home with a “skin” of solar panels and smart technology to make the home more sustainable and energy neutral. The project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, a competition started in 2002 to show the feasibility of solar energy to the housing industry.
(Source: Delf University of Technology)

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Battar
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Re: Retrofit
Battar   3/18/2014 5:00:09 AM
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Charles, there is a 20$ heating element in the storage tank for use on rainy days.

Just google solar water heater and you will see the setup.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Retrofit
Elizabeth M   3/18/2014 4:45:34 AM
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That is an excellent point, fm! It seems that people who want to use renewables or companies/engineers offering new renewable-energy solutions always have to justify the technology. But as you point out, that isn't true for every project or technology that's been devised in the past, and in some cases it should be. I appreciate your comment and hope it gets people thinking.

Elizabeth M
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Re: More Details Please
Elizabeth M   3/18/2014 4:38:05 AM
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Hi, Zippy, thanks for your comment and I'm aware of the typo in the name of the university and city. Hopefully that will be fixed, and sorry about that!

I think the project website has a lot more details than the article about the project. Hopefully that can give you the information you're looking for.

Charles Murray
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Re: Retrofit
Charles Murray   3/17/2014 5:31:54 PM
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Battar, do you need batteries for that set-up? If so, what kind? Are they expensive?

fm
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Re: Retrofit
fm   3/17/2014 1:06:10 PM
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Personally, i find it interesting that whenever renewables are discussed, the biggest word in the room is "payback." That term is pretty rare in other circles. Does anyone ever discuss the "payback" in complete terms when flattening a city block to reconstruct better buildings in the same spot?

Really, the additional cost of the "skin" in this case should be compared not to its direct "payback," (the cost of the skin vs the energy cost saved) but to the cost of razing and reconstructing these buildings with modern passive and active energy management solutions. I'm guessing that this could be an economical solution in certain situations.

Clever and innovative!

Battar
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Re: Retrofit
Battar   3/17/2014 10:42:25 AM
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Greg,

       Electricity at $0.18 KW/H, water heater 2.5KW in use 2 hours a day, solar energy alternative 270 days/year (I said efficient), ROI after 3.5 years, solar heater lifetime 8 years at least. Thats assuming 5 showers daily (3 grubby little boys) + washing up with hot water.

Of course, if it's just the 2 of you the calculations are different.

Greg M. Jung
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Re: Retrofit
Greg M. Jung   3/17/2014 10:13:06 AM
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Battar, can you please advise for the $800 investment, how fast was your payback based upon the actual savings that you realized?  (less than 2 years?).

Zippy
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Re: More Details Please
Zippy   3/17/2014 9:32:23 AM
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The site mentions additional insulation for the "cold" side of the house, which is in some way adjustable.  That would be interesting to learn about as well.

 

By the way, the "t" was omitted from Delft in several places, which is the name of the university and the city.

Battar
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Re: Retrofit
Battar   3/17/2014 9:21:28 AM
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I have a solar water heater on my roof. Everyone in my neighborhood has one. They are cheap (about 800$), simple, and amazingly efficient. The will to invest a little to save energy in many parts of the world just doesn't seem to be in place yet.

Elizabeth M
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Re: More Details Please
Elizabeth M   3/17/2014 5:43:02 AM
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I think there is a lot of information on the project site, Daniyal, but I am sure more will be revealed at the competition. At this point I don't think I can go, but if I do I will be sure to reveal more details and report more on innovative projects like this.

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