Casa Aguila will arguably be the most advanced home ever built in San Diego County, looking to achieve many firsts for our region. It will be San Diego's first Certified Passive House, seek the County's first onsite wastewater treatment permit, seek the County's first permit to utilize all collected rainwater for all indoor water use, and strive for eventual grid-disconnection through utilization of battery power, Solar PV, and a 45-foot wind turbine (the blades alone are 17 feet tall!).

The project is located in Ramona, CA and is named for the Golden Eagles which frequently fly over the property.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dual Axis Solar Trackers Installed By Precis Solar

Our project partner Precis Solar just finished installing the PV panels on our three Deger Dual-Axis trackers. Check out this one - our first tracker in a production position! Just a test, but it does look great!

Why Deger Dual Axis Trackers?
These trackers are the most productive panels per watt in all of California. Dual Axis Trackers are capable of omnidirectional tracking, unlike trackers that rotate on one axis (east-west) or are stationary (like roof-mounted systems). They use a technology called Maximum Light Detection, which means a device detects the point where the sun's radiation is most direct, and angles the tracker in that direction. This is different from astronomical tracking, which is the most common dual-axis tracker technology that follows where the sun should be in the sky, because is not necessarily pointed directly at where the sun is in the sky. It often is affected by reflective cloud or ground cover. This results in the maximum possible energy harnessed. 

The Microgrid and Precis Solar // Challenges and Solutions
At Casa Aguila, our goal is to push the envelope of energy efficiency in residential design. Because there are not many residential microgrids to model after, we have gathered many talented engineers and energy experts to design a system to eventually take Casa Aguila off-grid. Included in this team is Precis Solar, our awesome solar installer and Project Partner. They have been a huge factor in getting the solar and battery system to comply with County codes and remain a viable solution for the project.

The 22.1 kW solar PV array and 3.2kW wind turbine will be connected the house and to a 2.27 kW Outback EnergyCell backup battery. 


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Another Certification! Going for Living Building Challenge Petals.

We have decided that we are so very close to being able to pursue 3 Living Building Challenge Petals, and most very likely as well the LBC Net Zero Energy Certification, that we are going for it in addition to all the other certifications we are seeking.

Whereas Passive House is the pinnacle of energy efficient building, Living Building Challenge is the pinnacle of Green Building overall.  Full LBC Certification is extremely difficult to achieve, it is the most rigorous green building certification out there.

Our gratitude goes to Wayne Longdon of San Diego HERS Services who will be lead on helping us achieve these certifications.  Wayne is a founding member of the Living Building Collaborative Chapter here in San Diego, and fully understands the process of achieving LBC Certifications.

We know we are working towards the Energy and Water  Petals, and we are now working to identify the third Petal we hope to achieve (likely Beauty + Spirit.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2500 New Gallons of Rainwater!

With 9 x 10,000 gallon welded-steel tanks, we have a total of 90,000 gallons of storage capacity.  3-tanks will hold up to 30,000 gallons of rainwater from the roof, and 4-tanks will hold up to 40,000 gallons of stormwater collected from area drains around the grounds of the property.  Rainwater from the roof is the primary source for all indoor water use, and stormwater from the site is dedicated to irrigation and fire suppression.  One of those four stormwater tanks is dedicated to fire suppression (we are required by the county to have one 10,000 gallon fire suppression tank.)

The rain over the last few days brought us around 2500 gallons of rainwater off of the roof.   We estimate that water will provide about 20-days of indoor water use.  If we keep getting rains like this in the next month, we should not have to fill the rainwater tanks with any municipal water prior to move-in.   Keeping our fingers crossed!