We will get our renewable energy from the sun and the wind: solar and windmill energy
- Small solar Photo Voltaic (PV) system
- We have a multiple sources of power all automated by producing our own electricity with prepackaged photovoltaic systems;
- Power Organizing Module (POM) a self contained organizer and distributor of electricity. It is available as a user friendly factory assembled unit that is simply screwed on the wall, the local electrician conventionally wires the house to this unit;
- Solar hot water heater on the roof also used for under floor heating and cooling;
- Under floor heating.
- Biomass (plant material) is a renewable energy source because the energy it contains comes from the sun;
- Through the process of photosynthesis, plants capture the sun’s energy
- When the plants are burnt, they release the sun’s energy they contain;
- In this way, biomass functions as a sort of natural battery for storing solar energy.
Here are some reasonable measures which improve the energy balance of the mudbrick house
- EE lighting technologies and products such as CFLs and LED bulbs are one of the most profitable approaches to save energy
- Installations of solar water heater
- Improving roof insulation is easy to manage and cost effective. Painting buildings and roofs in light colors reflects the sun in hot regions
- Shading techniques have been used for centuries in the Arab world, keeping heat away by mashrabiyas, arcades, stain glass facades and other similar techniques. They are not only beautiful, but also easy to implement and inexpensive
- Many intelligent and mostly inexpensive solutions for EE air circulation and cooling on the market. A modern advancement of malkafs for instance
- Using loadbearing brick construction, better insulation, double glazed windows
EE = Energy Efficiency
Passive cooling / natural ventilation
Climatic conditions such as windcatches (malkaf)*, cooling towers on the roof (natural convection), window screens, interior fountains and ventilating attributes and airconditioning principles of the courtyard, roofing adobe buildings with domes and vaults, cross ventilation, appropriate placement of windows at high points in the house to encourage natural heat escape.
Domed or cylindrical roof air vents are holes cut in the apex of a domed roof and protected by a cap with openings that direct the wind across the vent. When air flows over a curved surface, its velocity increases and its pressure decreases at the apex of the surface. The decrease in pressure at the apex of a curved roof induces the hot air under the roof to flow through the vent.
- House orientation
The position of the sun must be determined for all hours of the day at all seasons as well as the direction of the prevailing winds, especially during the hot season. The main objective is to establish the optimum orientation with regard to the sun and the prevailing wind.
- Captures coolness of desert night. Air movement begins when suns morning heat causes eddies of air to circulate. These currents are guided
- Throughout the house via openings – doors and windows – to courtyard
- Controls passage of cool air from courtyard to rooms via openings placed above doorways
- Allows for further cooling through humidifying benefits of central fountain and planting of vegetation which not only lowers temperatures
- Through shading but purifies the air
- Allows for placement of outdoor sitting loggia on shaded side of courtyard where ceramic water jugs and food can also be stored in coolness
Every room needs openings from at least two directions and ceiling fans as a backup when there are no breezes
Wind catcher or malkaf
Malkaf or windcatcher is a shaft rising high above the house with an opening facing the prevailing wind. It traps the air where it is cooler and at higher velocity and channels it down into the interior of the house.
A vent of some nature which faces north to catch the cool prevailing winds.
At uppermost point to evacuate arising hot air while cool air enters from courtyard at lowest opposite point of the house
Sand soil waterfilter – water storage cystern, biofilters.
Use and re-use
All household sewage in indoor and outdoor treatment cells resulting in food production and landscaping with no pollution of aquifers.
Water is heated from the solar heating system.
Treating sewage on site. The concept used for containment, treatment and distribution of sewage-water is based on and draws information which has long been used in exterior applications for thousands of years by humans and nature.
Interior botanical cell
Greywater system allows for the need of far less water than is conventionally assumed.
Exterior botanical cell
The effort to contain the outdoor system rather than letting it leach into the earth is much more realistic and manageable because of its lower volume. This simply adds to the controlled landscaping of the home.
The objective is to eliminate the need for public sewage systems and un-contained septic systems that pollute the earth, while getting multiple uses out of all water collected in the catchwater systems.
The path of waste water
After water is used in sinks, showers and bat-tubs, it then drains into linear biologically developed interior greywater treatment and containment systems (grey water planters);
Clean looking (but not drinkable) water is piped to flush the toilet (toilets) with;
Next the water goes outside to a conventional septic tank that is solar heated with a glazed south side to enhance the anaerobic process. This unit functions like a regular septic tank (only better) with a line out to a conventional leach-field;
We add a preferred but optional line out that goes in to rubber lined exterior botanical cell(s) (size and quantity varies) that are constructed very similar to the interior greywater treatment and containment planter. This facilitates total containment of remaining effluent and directs its use toward exterior landscaping. After this use the water again tests below measurable nitrate levels.
- Cooking with the sun starts with the use of a CooKit and hay basket In combination with wood saving stoves;
- Cooking with the sun saves time, money and reduces CO2 emissions;
- CooKits and hay baskets are made by hand in local workshops.
desert, water, farmland