Monday, October 19, 2009

BrightBuilt Barn's First Year Performance

BrightBuilt Barn is now one year old.

The solar systems were turned on just one year ago - time to review its performance to date.

I'm happy to report that it has exceeded all expectations.

On a subjective level, it has been a joy to live and work in - warm in the winter, cool in the summer, light and airy and lovely to look at all year round. I am also delighted to report that I have not had one minute of trouble with any of the systems - high praise indeed from a guy who hates maintenance and repair, and who has had his share of woes while living in a number of conventionally built houses over the years. The solar systems in the Barn are simple, with few moving parts, and highly reliable - so far, they just work.

On an objective plane, here are the numbers. In its first year, BBB produced 6345 kilowatt hours of electricity, and used 1251 kwh, leaving a surplus of 5094 kwh.

In other words, BBB produced five times as much electricity as it used. My little BBB could power itself and four other homes just like it.

According to the US Department of Energy, the average American home uses 936 kwh of electricity per month. So, the average home in the US uses as much electricity in 5 weeks as the Barn did in its first full year. Conversely, BBB produces enough electricity to power itself and just under half the yearly electricity use of the average home.

The Barn does, in fact, power my conventionally built main house (over 15 years old and no paragon of energy efficiency) which sits about 100 feet away, and has produced over 60% of that home's electrical use.

So, Happy Birthday, BBB! And congratulations on a highly successful first year!
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