Canyon Road, Piedmont, Missouri, 63957
In order to take maximum advantage of passive heating and cooling the roof is white to reflect sunlight, and has a six foot overhang so that sunlight limits heating the interior during the summer when the sun is high in the sky and, in winter, warming the interior when the sun is low on the horizon. Additionally, there are curtains on the western wall to further reduce cooling needs by blocking the late afternoon sun. They can be opened in the winter to help in heating.
Beneath the roof is a radiant barrier of material to reflect heat up and away from the interior. The walls and ceiling are filled with fiberglass insulation; R30 in the ceiling and R19 in the walls.
CONSERVATION-Power & Water
Power: The cabin gets electricity generated by sunlight onto six roof-mounted 245watt photovoltaic modules combining into a 48volt battery bank inside the cabin. The battery bank voltage is maintained by the PV panels and, as needed, changed to 110 volts AC by an inverter for use like anyone else who are on the power grid. No wires lead to the cabin.
Electrical loads are held to a minimum. No incandescent bulbs for lighting, instead all are solid state LEDs. The water pump is “on demand” only operating when needed.
Water: “The elixir of life.” As much as 60% of domestic household water usage is going down the drain, principally by the flush toilet. We don’t have a flush toilet due to location and lack of a water supply. The terrain and rocky soil don’t allow for well drilling or for construction of a drain field for a septic system. The alternative is a composting toilet which uses no water. It is a high tech version of the traditional outhouse without the inconvenience or odor. The Biolet60 has an internal heater and an automated stirring device which, over time aerobically converts the waste to humus which is odorless and may be used for gardening. A vent fan pulls any natural odors out and away.
There is a fifty-gallon water tank beneath the cabin which contains non-potable water either from the roof drains or pumped in from another tank. Water is pumped on-demand for kitchen and bathroom sinks and the shower. Hot water is produced on-demand by a tankless
In-line propane heater for the kitchen and bathroom.
Water for drinking comes from bottles or from the water cooler.
HEATING AND COOLING
There is a Napoleon enamel propane stove with remote controlled thermostat in addition to the heat provided by the Pioneer mini-split unit above the bed. The Pioneer mini-split also can be used as an air conditioner when the outdoors temps get too high for natural cooling. There are two ceiling fans controlled by handheld remotes to circulate the inside air.
The kitchen has the counter and sink with the under-counter water pump and water heater. A cooler is used to keep perishables. Cooking is either by grilling on the deck, microwave or electric grill. There is no conventional stove.
There is a double bed, the under-window bench seat, the couch and the loft which are all available for a place to sleep.