[NMSEA-news] NMSEA News, Events & Announcements

News from New Mexico Solar Energy Association nmsea-news at nmsea.org
Fri Jan 13 16:14:43 MST 2012

 Happy New Year, Solar Supporters!
Here are the Latest News, Events & Announcements from NMSEA
Please Check Our Event Calendar 
<http://www.nmsea.org/Events/Event_Calendar.php> for Additional Event 

SUBSCRIBE/UNSUBSCRIBE at the end of this message
  Or contact us with questions & comments. We value your input! 

*- **DATE CHANGE**:** NMSEA Board of Directors Meeting (Jan 21)
**- New NMSEA Office Hours***
* **- **NMSEA SunPaper Archives Online
*/-/ *New Mexico** Solar Energy Association on Facebook*/

- *JAN 14: Sustainable Homes Tour - **/Las Vegas, NM/*
- *JAN 21: NMSEA Board of Directors Meeting - /Albuquerque, NM
/*- *JAN 24: NMSEA Albuquerque Chapter Meeting - /Albuquerque, NM/*


*DATE CHANGE**:** NMSEA Board of Directors Meeting (Jan 21)*

The next NMSEA Board of Directors meeting has been moved from January 14 
to January 21.  Please update your calendars accordingly, and feel free 
to contact the NMSEA office with questions: (505) 246-0400


*New NMSEA Office Hours

*Beginning January 2012, NMSEA's Albuquerque office (1009 Bradbury SE 
#35, 87106) will be open the following hours:
Monday 1pm-5pm, Tuesday 9am-1pm, Closed Wednesday, Thursday 9am-1pm, 
Friday 1pm-5pm.

Please call the office during regular hours or contact us a day ahead to 
schedule an appointment if you plan to stop by in order to ensure that 
someone will be available to assist you.  For general information or 
other inquiries, you may also visit NMSEA online at: www.NMSEA.org



*NMSEA SunPaper Archives - Now Available Online

*/ /*A selection of past SunPaper editions are now also available for 
reference online. For more details, please visit the NMSEA website 

*New Mexico Solar Energy Association on Facebook

*NMSEA is also using Facebook to spread the word about our educational 
outreach, upcoming events & fundraising drives.
If you would like updates about solar energy innovations, events and 
sustainability related news, please visit NMSEA on Facebook 
and press the "Like" button!
*JAN 14: Sustainable Homes Tour - **/Las Vegas, NM/**/
/*9am-12:30pm & 1pm-4:30pm at the Las Vegas Arts Council building, 140 
Bridge Street

Sustainable Las Vegas wants to give area residents ideas about how to 
save money and conserve precious natural resources by improving their 
homes.  The tour features local homes that provide examples of how 
electrical and heating bills can be reduced or even eliminated by using 
the energy of the sun as well as various conservation measures. One home 
on the tour actually makes money by using solar panels and selling the 
surplus electricity back to PNM! The homes also include greywater 
systems and rainwater harvesting to reduce or eliminate dependence on 
well water or city water.

Different designs and approaches are showcased in the homes chosen for 
the tour. One of the homes is a conventional home that has been 
extensively modified by the owner to be far more energy and water 
efficient. This home is a fine example of what owners of existing homes 
can do to reduce water and electrical usage.

The first home on the tour uses a passive solar approach. This architect 
designed home constructed in 2004 gets most of its heat from the sun 
using 13 south-facing patio door-sized windows. Winter sun (which drops 
low in the sky at this time of year) penetrates deep inside while 
appropriate roof overhangs exclude summer sun, which is higher in the 
sky. Successful passive solar design also requires a massive internal 
structure to absorb the sun's heat. A concrete floor with radiant heat 
as well as massive walls and plaster provide the mass here. The backup 
propane-fired boiler is rarely used but a wood stove is used most evenings.

Asolar water heating system was added in 2007 and provides all of the 
home’s hot water. Two glycol-cooled panels send heat to an 80 gallon 
storage tank.

Becausethe home was designed to be energy efficient with a tight 
building envelope and energy efficient appliances the home uses almost 
no fossil fuel and consumes only 200 kW hours of electricity per month.

Aboutone year ago a 1.8 kW grid-connected PV system was installed. 
During its first year in operation it has provide all the electrical 
needs of the home and sold over 1300 kW hours back to the grid.

Rainwater is collected from some roofs and used for landscaping. A 
vegetable garden employing drip irrigation was very successful. 
Greywater from laundry, shower and bathroom sinks is distributed to 
landscaping as well.

The second homefeatured is an Earthship. This owner-built home was 
undertaken as an experiment in conservation and simplicity. According to 
its originators an Earthship creates its own utilities including 
electricity, water and climate and is made using readily available and 
sustainable materials. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship )

Heatingand cooling of the home are provided entirely by the sun. 
South-facing glass and a tight, massive building envelope do the job 
here as well. The home is earth bermed and partially earth covered. 
Ventilating skylights help keep the home comfortable in summer.

Electricityis supplied by a 1.5 kW off-grid PV system capable of 
producing about 250 kWh/month. Even this seemingly small system provides 
enough power for a conventional refrigerator, two desk-top computers, a 
washing machine as well as lights, water pressure and small appliances. 
With a set of replacement batteries the system is performing even 
better, recovering more quickly after several cloudy days.

Central to the owners experimentation was relying on catchment alone as 
their source of water. Could it be done in the arid Southwest? The 
answer is yes but not without some adjustments in life-style.

Rainwateris collected from all roofs, including out-buildings. Water 
used for drinking is purified using filters and ultraviolet light, but 
apart from that the plumbing is the same as for any home.

Thehome was built by its owners and they can tell you how labor 
intensive Earthship construction can be. But sweat equity can be its own 
reward and using recycled materials such as tires and bottles met their 
conservation objectives.

Additionsto the home are built with highly insulating straw bales. 
However, lacking passive solar they do not heat nearly as well as the 
sunlit central home, which shows the added benefit of capturing the 
sun’s heat.

Improvingthe performance of an existing home is the best way to save 
energy. The third home on the tour is a conventional home that has 
upgraded by its owners to conserve energy and water. This home in Ojitos 
Frios will give tour participants great ideas on simple strategies to 
improve the performance and comfort of their current homes.

Builtin 1996, this Ojito Frios home formerly used an inefficient boiler 
to heat the radiant concrete slab floor. The owners replaced it with 
five glycol-cooled solar panels to supply space heat and domestic hot 
water. The system was expanded to seven panels recently and does the job 
for a family of six. A converted garage serving as a guest house is 
warmed by solar air heaters and requires little additional heat.

Severewater shortages afflicting the area were addressed by an extensive 
rain water catchment system. The family has relied solely on rainwater 
for all its needs for two and one half years, including 4500 gallons 
reserved for livestock and pets. Twenty thousand gallons of above and 
below ground tanks store water from the roofs. Water for the household 
is purified by passing it through a series of filters followed by 
ultra-violet light.

Anaddition to the home currently under construction has a concrete floor 
placed over four inches of rigid Styrofoam. Greywater from the bathroom 
will be sent to an aeration tank before distribution. A composting 
toilet will be installed. This entire project shows how careful water 
management can be accomplished; the family, including teenagers, uses 
500 gallons per week.

Since the homes are outside of the city, the tour includes van-pooling 
to the sites; a guide will describe the features of the homes and 
encourage discussion. A donation is requested to cover transportation 
costs. Space will be limited so reserve your place by contacting Emelie 
Olson by phone 454-3920 or by email eolson at desertgate.com 
<javascript:top.opencompose(>.Reserved places will be held until 15 
minutes before departure; you may sign up on the day of the event at the 
Arts Council.

The event is co-sponsored by the NMHU Conservation Club and Community 
First Bank.

*JAN 21: NMSEA Board of Directors Meeting - /Albuquerque, NM/**/
/*11:30 Potluck; 12–3 pm at NMSEA Office Board Room: 1009 Bradbury Dr. 
SE, ABQ 87106

Please bring a potluck dish & join us for our monthly NMSEA Board 
meeting at the NMSEA Office in Albuquerque!
Board meetings are open to all members. Please contact the NMSEA office 
in advance if you wish to add an item to the agenda or speak during the 

For more information, please contact the NMSEA office at: (505) 246-0400 
or info at nmsea.org <mailto:info at nmsea.org>.

*JAN 24: NMSEA Albuquerque Chapter Meeting - /Albuquerque, NM
/*6-8pm at REI, 1550 Mercantile Ave NE , 87107

Put the “Happy” in the New Year and join NMSEA for our monthly Chapter 
Meeting in Albuquerque.  In January, Chapter co-leader Jim DesJardin 
will let us in on “What’s New with Solar in 2012,” including information 
regarding pricing, PNM incentives, new technologies, and more reasons to 
be there include networking, door prizes and finger foods!  Please 
REGISTER ONLINE <http://www.rei.com/event/21357/session/26478> 
<http://www.rei.com/event/21357/session/26478> if you plan to attend to 
insure enough noshes.  Free & open to the public.

*New Mexico Solar Energy Association*
1009 Bradbury Dr. SE, # 35, Albuquerque, NM 87106
505-246-0400, 888-886-6765, Fax: 505-246-2251
info at nmsea.org <mailto:info at nmsea.org> www.nmsea.org 
To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE to this NMSEA-news e-mail list, please click 
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