This tour site is a part of the South Shore Solar and Sustainable Living Tour.
“Max Horn’s Nantasket Beach Solar Home is on the ocean, at the Pemberton Point end of Nantasket Beach, in Hull, MA. Built in 2009, it is net zero.
The temperature inside the house stays steady. The house has 12-inch insulated walls and is tightly sealed. A gas-fueled fire in the fireplace provides heat for the house. It has a thermostat and uses electricity to start. The warm air is blown into the room by a fan on top the fireplace. The warm air enters a pipe in the ceiling and is circulated throughout the house.
A continual supply of fresh air is brought in through a pipe in the attic. The incoming air pipe in the attic is heated by exhaust air in the winter. Bathroom air is also exhausted to the outside.
Back-up heaters, located in ceiling fans when the house was built, are seldom used. Back-up heat is now available from air source heat pumps in bedrooms and the basement in case guests want it, but also is seldom used.
A boiler room receives solar-heated water from two solar hot water panels on the roof. An instant hot water heater is available, but rarely used
Concrete counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms help keep the air temperature steady. The concrete driveway does not heat up and radiate heat the way asphalt does.
The basement garage is part of the house, with 12-inch walls, including 12-inch walls between the garage and rest of house. The doorway to the rest of house has two doors. The outer one opens to the garage, while the inner one opens to a hall.
Electricity and hot water come from panels on the south facing roof. Electricity comes from a 6.9 kW solar array and water comes from two panels.
Other uses of electricity include battery-powered tools, electric bikes, and an electric lawn mower. The family has had a hybrid car for 10 years and an all-electric car since 2016. Two portable solar panels are a recent purchase to power a back-up battery to start the gas fireplace in case of loss of electricity. The easy-to-set-up panels are also good for camping. Check out Max’s next car, 6 months from now: a three-wheeled Aptera, covered with solar panels, with a 350-mile range. https://www.aptera.us/vehicle
In July 2022, $2,915 in SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits) was received from the State.
In June 2022, the Hull Municipal Light bill showed:
Delivered to house 559 kWh (usage of Municipal Light power)
Received from house 1,015 kWh (amount sent to Municipal Light)
Credit earned 544 kWh”