(2) 36 Dickinson Road
What motivated you to install solar?
I have been interested in solar heating since 1985 when I built an earth sheltered passive solar house. We lived in that house prior to moving to Keene. When we saw our current house on the market we were very interested.
How many panels do you have, and if you know, how much energy are you producing, percentage of your electric usage?
Our house has a 680 square foot hot air collector built into the roof. We estimate it provides roughly half the required heat.
What has been the biggest benefit so far? What are you excited about?
The benefit is to our heating cost and the related savings of carbon not being sent to the atmosphere.
What were the obstacles to installing solar and what did you do to overcome them?
We bought our home with the solar already installed. Our house is the oldest solar house in Keene and was designed by Dan Scully, a local architect. The house was built in 1978 as part of the Carter Administration Department of Energy research project into residential solar heat. It has a 680 square-foot solar collector built into the roof which is tied into the conventional heating system
The built-in collector system was built by CSI which was in Walpole at the time and they built approximately 250 of these over the years. There are others around Cheshire County. They were designed and built custom for each house or building. It collected hot air and circulated it through a rock heat storage and that was tied into the hot air furnace through a complex Rube Goldberg system of automatically controlled dampers that would open and close different parts of the heating system depending on the temperature at the collector and whether or not the house needed heat.
What advice do you have for people considering installing solar?
It’s a great investment in your future and the future of our kids.