Going Off Grid with Chris Anderson and Borrego Solar
When Chris Anderson, COO of Borrego Solar, moved across the country in 2007 to open Borrego Solar East, he needed a place to live and he chose Peterborough, NH. Anderson decided to build his own, entirely off-grid, home. The house is powered completely by solar photovoltaics, a solar thermal system, a wood pellet boiler and a few other unique features. Anderson says the home blends the traditional colonial style of New England with the modern style of the San Francisco Bay area. The 3,000 square foot home took more than two years and approximately $510,000 to complete from start to finish and involved everything from getting a conservation easement put on the land to powering a construction site without grid electricity.
The Home Features
Solar PV: A 6.75 kilowatt roof mounted Borrego Solar system with an estimated monthly production of 550 kilowatt hours. The system uses 27 Sharp 160W modules, 15 Sharp 162W modules, mounted east of south on a 45 degree pitched standing seam metal roof and one SMA SB7000 Inverter. The system also uses two SMA 4248 Sunny Islands that charge a bank of 24 Rolls Surrette S460 batteries to run the house on cloudy days.
Heating Systems: Seven Heliodyne flat-plate collectors using glycol. One 800 gallon and one 1200 gallon storage tank from STSS Co., Inc. One Harman PB105 113k BTUh wood pellet boiler using wood pellets from New England Wood Pellet. Heat systems were designed by Henry Spindler from Optimal Energy Solutions LLC.
Other Features: A hot water recirculation loop, radiant floors, thermal glazed windows, thermostat controls for each zone of the home and energy efficient appliances.
To see an interview with Chris Anderson and to get a look at his one-of-a-kind off-grid home, watch the video below.
For more on Borrego Solar and Chris Anderson's home check out this week's Inside Renewable Energy Podcast with Stephen Lacey.