It's free and easy to harness if included in the plan. Southern
walls will be constructed from cob and contain plenty of windows.
The larger weather protecting eves will shade in the summer &
let the sun "in" during the winter. The cob walls and
thermal mass floor will "charge up" during sunny days
and "release heat" into the night.
The domestic hot water (dhw) will be primarily heated by solar
collectors. Most likely some form of a drainback system. In my experience
glycol systems, over the long haul, require more maintenance.
Annualized Geo Solar (AGS)
Since I initiallly planned to draw "coolith" from buried
tubes during the summer to temper the hot weather AGS seems like
an obvious next step. A thermostatically controlled fan will draw
air from buired tubes beneath the house which in turn gets its air
from the metal roof heat. Over time, if properly protected from
water, the ground beneath the house will, allegedly, gradually warm--I
guess it takes years. Then during winter the house doesn't require
as much additional heat. Does it work? I'm not completely sure but
it's worth trying. Given that when most geothermal heat pumps are
used only for heating for long periods their efficency is gradually
decreased, implies that it might....
Wood Burning Masonry Stove
Can I build it? I think I can... stove.ru
Yeah, I know everybody who is anyone with a cob house has a rocket
stove--and I might still make one. For now, I plan a masonry stove.
Too much thermal mass? It seems a bit over-kill but once that thermal
flywheel is moving it will coast for many hours. I like the idea
of building only one fire per day.
Oil assisted Hydronic Radiant
Not just oil, waste-oil & glycerine. We'll probably continue
to burn used vegtable oil (biodiesel) in our vechicles when we move.
The process of making biodiesel has a not easily disposed of by product
has come up with a heater that burns glycerine. I plan to use something
along these lines as backup. There are commercial products like
or www.econoheat.coms waste
oil boiler that'll eventually replace any contraption that i'll
make--retirement won't allow for high maintance equipment.