Hi, working on plans and permits for a major home renovation in West Los Angeles. Look to use smart energy management and electronic management for heating, passive cooling, lighting, access control, etc.
This LEAF community seems to have extensive knowledge and interest in efficient home energy usage and production, along with electronics and networking, so reaching out for thoughts and more informed thinking seems to be a good idea.
In WLA, there is great sun most of the time in this area (minimal marine layer clouds); the house has an unhindered south facing roof. I am looking for engineering ideas that will make best use of existing technology.
The home construction is a typical stucco house, with a perimeter foundation and crawlspace. Will be catching low hanging fruit of using insulation and natural light when possible, and all windows will be updated to double pane, etc.
NEW ROOF SYSTEM
A standing seam metal roof rather than composite shingles is specified to replace the wood shingles (making budget would be the factor to go to asphalt shingles). I've seen clean elegant looking clip systems for Solar PV mounts that maintains the roof integrity with standing seam, and I like that.
Added to floor joists and ceiling and or attic, updated windows, doors. Amazingly, there is currently none.
RADIANT HEAT -- PASSIVE COOLING
I like radiant heat, especially on bath and bedroom floors, and am likely going to use warmboards.com to distribute the solar thermal with a boiler supplement. It is very rare that mechanical cooling would be required--planning on using whole house fan to cool at night and thermal mass to keep cool during day (works pretty well this way now even without any insulation). I've also seen venting systems with smart thermal sensors that take advantage of micro climates of the house, pulling warm or cool air inside to augment the passive and radiant features, but have never seen an actual install.
The use of micro inverters appeals to me because of the redundancy, elegant failure, but I'd be open to a persuasive argument for a straight DC system with a main inverter.
The site has a pool and spa. This could possibly make use of a heat pump, and/or heat dump for excess solar thermal production in the Summer? Also, heating a pool with natural gas just seems dumb. However, one solar PV engineer feels that mixing the energy from the solar hot water energy (even in a closed system) from the house supply is a bad idea. Specific thoughts on this?
Simply not considered, but again, the pool and spa (both will have covers and have a planned surround of insulation) present a large thermal mass to be managed and perhaps utilized. Seems too complex and expensive but I've heard if the pool is used it might qualify for the 30% Energy tax deduction.
Held for added topics and inclusion of comments....
Perhaps you've slogged through this post and are willing to help. I'd like to be able to showcase state of the art engineering and technology... Looking for vendors and manufacturers to consider, and whatever may be of help for the good of the show....