On an off-grid property in Philo, California (Mendocino County), Loren Amelang built a home that would help him generate “free hot water, free power and a decent chunk of free heat”.
The entire south side of his home is covered in solar capture devices: 1600 watts of photovoltaic power, solar hot water panels, a sunroom/greenhouse and a solar hot air collector. “The sunroom/greenhouse provides most of the free heat”.
Putting his technical skills to use (he’s a pioneer in C++ programming), Amelang wrote over 10,000 lines of code so that his home’s water and electric systems could be operated more efficiently and automatically. An added benefit is the ability to control everything remotely, by even just a smartphone.
Since he built most of the home himself (the person he hired to do it decades ago, spent all the money and built half the house), Amelang has made it very custom. He avoided using aluminum and plastic (except for the insulation on the wiring) and he wired it for pure DC lighting (which makes sense with solar, but Amelang also likes how “peaceful” DC lighting feels).
Loren answers viewers’ questions in more depth: http://faircompanies.com/forum/discussion/69/loren-amelang-responds-to-questions-on-his-off-grid-diy-smart-home
Original story here: http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/c-programming-pioneer-hacksf-grid-diy-smart-home/