Alternative Power Homes

Columbus, Texas, October 22, 2005 - Country home.

Tommy Trest, Jesse Patterson and myself went to see a house that runs completely off of solar power and is not connected to an electrical company, completely "off the grid".  The house is owned by the owner, Dan, of Electronic Parts Outlet (EPO) off of Fondren St in Houston, which is a well know Houston electronic parts store.  The house's design was architected with very innovative ideas on insulation, fans and water run off.  The insulation is very thick to keep outside conditions from affecting the house, fans can help cool down the entire house because of their size and strategic location and water is stored in a huge container behind the house which runs off the roof.  The water is filtered for house hold use and bottle water is used for drinking / cooking.

We went up to visit Dan's house to see how he was running his home and to borrow two army surplus diesel engines which create electricity.  Tommy has already successfully started them up running on used, filtered cooking oil from a restaurant.  The next step is to hook them up as a power source for batteries, which will power his home. 

Long half mile road leading up to the house Eight point deer off of the driveway entrance.
Side of house View of pond in front of house as seen from driveway
Fans that oscillate the air through out the house In-Laws to the owners along with owner in side the kitchen area
Dan the owner, showing Tommy and Jesse the power room Power Room and battery storage
Work area for creating Cedar boards out of Cedar trees Catfish eating dog food in their pond
View of front of house from deck at their pond Upstairs loft in the house.  Hundreds of collectable trains line upstairs.
Water storage with pipe coming off of roof to catch rain water.  If necessary they can use water from their pond for their home.  The water is filtered and they use bottled water for drinking / cooking. View of solar panels which are somewhat hidden from the house's view.

Sunday, October 30 - Houston Renewable Energy (HREG)Tour 2005

On one Sunday, Johnna Montz, myself and Tommy Trest went and viewed two homes which use alternative power sources and / or demonstrate high levels of energy efficiency as part of HREG,

1st Home - Carrier Residence, 5307 Valerie Street, Bellaire, Tx.

Front of house.  Solar cooker - out in front, shown for fun. Kitchen view of stove. 
Hot water heater panels View of back yard.
This house has solar panels covering the entire back side of the house's roof.  The pictures of this house did not do the home justice.
Power conversion room for the solar panels.

2nd Home - The Orchid House, 36823 Post Oak Circle, Magnolia, Tx ~ High Meadow Ranch.

This home is being studied by several Universities for it air filtration and energy conservation from use of Passive heating and cooling.

Front of house is obscured from the street.  Tommy walking up the driveway. View of front sidewalk coming up to the front door.
Living room. Green house off of Living room.  Self sufficient room not requiring any supplemental heating / cooling year round.
Master bedroom.  Not a great picture.  I was trying to get a picture of the vaulted ceiling and lighting. Master bathroom.
Keith & Johnna in green house Kitchen
Kid's room with stairs to 3rd floor private observatory. Weather station
Just like the 1st house, pictures do not do justice to this beautiful home, which just happens to be a High Performance environmental friendly house.
Attic with cooling system and electronics for climate control.