Solar house: A Solar Home

This is a home in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The house includes a fully integrated solar roof that is interconnected with the local utility grid. The solar electric system is provided by a Canadian company, ARISE Technologies. This system uses an inverter which regulates the energy produced by the solar PV panels on the roof making the system completely compatible with the home's local utility provider.

This solar home, replete with solar panels, harvests energy from the sun to generate electricity and heat. On sunny days, the roof collects enough sun energy to produce more electricity than the home actually requires. Since the home-owner has a net metering agreement with the local utility, the electrical meter on such days will run backward, selling energy back to the utility company. At night, the residents of this solar home consume electricity from the utility as regular consumer.

The home is also equipped with a solar thermal array that provides all of the pool heating and a good part of the domestic hot water. The family's swim season is extended by two months, as well as paying a much lower overall cost for pool heating.

As well, part of the home's space heating requirements is covered by solar thermal heating. This also reduces their monthly gas bill.

In addition to all these features, the home is constructed using passive solar design principles. These features include the use of natural daylighting, natural cooling, superior insulation and windows as well as other energy conservation techniques.

Special thanks to ARISE for the use of this photo and adapted material. For more information contact

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