Friday, September 28, 2012

Starting my Zero Net Energy Homes course

I'm taking an online course on designing a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) home. It's supposed to only take 5 hours a week, but since I neither an engineer nor an architect nor a builder I think I will have to spend much more time on it that other people will.

I will try to design John's house as a Zero Net Energy Home. We may not be able to truly do this, but at least I have a better understanding of what is involved.

Another advantage of the course is that I will learn more about insulation, air sealing, and energy modeling.

I've talked to the solar energy guys at the Sunstore in Greenville. We are going to install grid-tied solar panels to the roof of John's shop because it gets pretty good sun and the rebates are now pretty generous. The payback estimate is 13 years after the tax rebates. I'll go into more details about that when I understand them better.

One of the most intimidating things about the ZNE course is that I actually have to design a home. That means I have got to be able to use SketchUp. I played around with it last night. I don't click the buttons right so I end up with excessive lines all over the place. I have to work on my click and release when I am drawing in SketchUp. I'll post some of my baby steps as I learn. It really is an amazing program. I must confess that I did pay for the SketchUp pro version since I think I will be using it for awhile.

Monday, Carlton and his crew are going to demolish the pool house so we have some storage space for working on John's house.

Here is the kitty picture of the day.

Fuzz Parker and Rocky at my feet when I work on the computer.