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06/25/2011

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Sea Water Reverse Osmosis

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Seth Downs

Hello Marc,

I've enjoyed and learned from your blog immensely as I try and get our 1950's Albuquerque home with no insulation or southern exposure to net zero energy. Thankfully I have a powerful ally in the sun! I attended a day long presentation by Howell-Mayhew Engineering of Edmonton ( http://www.hme.ca/presentations/NetZero_Energy_Houses_--_What_We've_Learned_--_SAIT_--_2010_Nov_29.pdf ) earlier this year on what they have learned in trying to build NZE homes in Canada. One of their take home points was to keep the systems simple and familiar to the point where they think solar hot water systems might be an unnecessary component with the appropriate efficiency measures and the continuing drop in PV prices. I have not committed to an air heat pump or solar thermal for my domestic hot water heating, but I'm eagerly awaiting to read of your mental wrangling on the matter.

I recently read the article in Solar Today about a near NZE home in Minnesota http://www.solartoday-digital.org/solartoday/20110910/#pg70 clearly they had not attended a recent presentation by Howell-Mayhew Engineering. The mechanical room looks really pretty... pretty darn complicated, but if we hope to see NZE homes flourish, I would think that we would have to make the product easier to replicate and maintain.

Marc Rosenbaum

Seth, I know the energy consultant for the MN house, Mike LeBeau, and he was really trying things on that home he wouldn't normally get to do. I've visited there during construction as well. I agree about simplicity. I'll post soon about my water heating, but suffice it to say that the heat pump water heater will cost less but likely use more back-up energy than solar thermal.

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