mdd0127 wrote: I'd be willing to bet that 90% or your energy usage is for air conditioning. Conventionally built homes are really difficult to convert to solar without making major lifestyle changes. If you put a small window ac like 8000 btu in the room you used and only ran that and some lights, this system would provide for all of your power needs.
I use no heating or cooling, other than a box fan or small computer fans, for any of hte low-cost months. I then use the evaporative cooler for the middling months, just whenever it is beyond what I or the dogs can handle. I never use the main house AC, as it would cost about $400/month to run to keep the house at 78F.
Instead, I have window units in the two opposite-end bedrooms. I have a small unknown-BTU unit (3000-4000 I'd guess, at most) in the front window of my bedroom, but it's internal fan does not work, so I have four 115VAC case fans from old 1" VTR rack units on the outside to cool the heated coils, and a high-CFM 48V fan from some server rack case on the inside to pull room air past the chilled coils. It does not work as well as it did with the original fan, but I haven't found a motor I can replace the original with due to space inside it, and axle lengths needed to run the existing fan blades, etc.
I have a similar-sized unit in the other bedroom (the bike parts storeroom, intended to be a workroom but too full of stuff to do that right now), and it is still in good enough shape, or was as of last summer.
Then I have a 10K BTU unit in the bathroom window of my bedroom, which is what I use if I need to seriously cool the bedroom. Since it is shaded by the carport (neither of the others has much shade most of the times of day I'd be using them) it can shed heat a little better than the others and so is probably more efficient. But it does take more power than the other two, even though it runs for less time. I wish the compressor seal and motor connection glass hadn't failed on my original unit, because it was the optimal one for this bedroom, and worked great for years.
I finally have material to make awnings from, but have yet to have time to make them. (the old wood awnings I'd made from scrap fencing disintegrated some time ago). What I'd like to make, if I could do it so that it would survive the winds when they come (like tonight), is to make an awning over teh whole roof, so it basically has a foot or two between the layer of material and frame, and the actual roof. But this would have to be retractable so that in a windstorm I could roll it up and not have it ripped off and swept across the neighborhood.
Preferably without having to climb on the roof every time to do it, or having to motorize it (which while a cool idea makes it a lot more complicated). I have ideas for this, but so far insufficient time and energy to attempt a test of the theory.
I have had a plan for years to automate the opening of the windows once the temperature outside drops below that inside, but have never gotten past the basic idea stage. Right now I still go around and do it manually, and setup a box fan in the window next to me here in teh bedroom so that it pulls cooler outside air into the bedroom, and pushes the hotter air inside to the main front room, where there is more natural airflow from front to back of the house to push it (or pull it) outside, replacing it with more cool air.