Green gadget of the year. No paper, printing, shipping, or warehousing of books!
We told you in a previous post about Eden House that the green roof wouldn't be limited to vegetation. As promised, the home now has a brand new Apricus solar thermal panel installed. Technically it's wall-mounted, but high enough to be part of the roof line. Architect David Butler also made sure the panel does double-duty as an awning over one of the windows, so it blocks the sun's summer azimuth and prevents solar gain inside the house.
The Apricus system uses evacuated tube technology mounted in an array on the southfacing wall to capture much of the day's sun as it tracks across the sky. The tubes have a liquid in them that is heated by the sun and transferred to the water heater in a continuous loop. In this fashion a significant portion of the home's energy requirements for hot water heating is off-set -- typically in the 50% - 80% range.
After HVAC, water heaters are the second largest consumers of energy in the home. And since sunshine is still free, the owners can enjoy protection from future energy shortages and/or price hikes.
Here's some pics of the installation with more views of the vegetative roof at no extra cost.