solar

Solar Module Placement

Hello again! I just got some really great questions about the off-grid systems that the COMET will have, and I thought it would be a good time to share some of these infographics and design concepts I've been working on.

Where do you put three 185-watt solar modules on a 16 foot trailer with limited surface area?

Here are some of my ideas:

Simple Solar Showers for Summer

Simple Solar Showers for Summer

Good Morning!

Last night I perused the web for the best, simplest solar shower devices on the market. I was looking for something affordable and convenient. The COMET doesn't have room for a shower inside, so she will have a solar shower outside, with some sort of portable, collapsible, privacy shower set up that I can pop up behind the camper (I like the idea of a little teak platform with a circular curtain rod made of metal piping that can break down easily when I'm on the move, and some sort of hook to hang the solar shower on once it is heated up).

Here are my favorite finds from the my solar shower research!

Great used building materials resource: DiggersList

I came across this really great resource for finding used/extra building materials for sale in your area. It's basically a Craigslist just for home improvement/building materials/appliances, and it's called DiggersList. Just type in your area/town and DiggersList will find anything for sale/free in a 50 mile radius. I really like the name, because as someone who loves to find used materials in the dumpster or in piles on the road, or even in piles on the internet, I think people like us really are "Diggers!" If you check out DiggersList and find something great to use in your tiny house, camper conversion, or other project, let me know in the comments!

(And on the flip side of acquiring great used/unused extra building materials for free or cheap, you can also post your own leftover flooring, old fridge, or salvaged lumber on the site so others can take it off your hands!)

More Refined 3D Models

Good Morning! Yesterday was another day spent in The COMET, measuring and again, simultaneously modeling, a more refined interior 3d model with SketchUp. I measured all of the ceiling and put the vents and light fixtures into the model. I spent hours measuring and diagramming the intricacies of the main cabinet, which has 3 parts that hold the closet, the fridge and some drawers, and the toilet closet.

Here's some highlights of what I did:

So above you can see the main cabinet, on the back wall, has been broken up into it's 3 parts. This is the model with the doors to each of the cabinets/drawers on. The cabinet to the far left is the clothing closet, the middle section used to have a fridge in the top opening and the lower 3 are drawers and cabinets. The cabinet on the right is the toilet! You can also see the vents and light fixture in this image - the vents are grey and the light fixture is that box on the ceiling. Yesterday while I was there I was trying to figure out if I would need to add any more light fixtures or wire up any more wall plugs. There seems to be just enough, but I need to make a serious list of what I have that uses power to figure it out.

 

In these two images I have hidden the cabinet door layers so that you can see inside the cabinets (I've also hidden the galley cabinet and galley counter, but you can see the footprint of it on the floor). Like I said, left side is the closet, middle is fridge spot up top and drawers/cabinets below, and the right side is the bathroom. The orange block at the bottom of the closet is the wheel well. You can also see the vents and lights a little better in this one.

Right  now the spot for the fridge (and I don't have the fridge that actually fits it) is the top section of the middle cabinet. In the next image you can see the fridge vent. Most likely that whole middle part of the main cabinet will be reconfigured so that the top-opening chest-style solar powered fridge that I have my eye on can fit in there, I can comfortably open it form the top, and have some food storage/pantry above it.

As you can see, and as I wish I could convey to you, the bathroom is insanely tiny. I sat in there the other day just for laughs and it is cramped even for me, and I am tiny! But I think I'll gain some leg room when I install the custom composting toilet, because I'll move the seat closer to the back wall and make it as small as I can.

 

This is just a preliminary roof sketch based on the vents from the interior (I still want to climb up there and measure everything form the exterior). The purple squares are the existing vents: two air vents, one fridge vent, and the tiny purple circle is the bathroom vent. This diagram gives me a good idea of what I have to work with in terms of configuring the 3 solar panels I'm getting. There's definitely room for 2 up there, but depending on how I set them up, I can either try to fit a third on the roof or instead fit a third panel on the side that lays down flat when I'm mobile and pops up when I'm parked.

 

As I spend more and more time in The COMET, finding out exactly how much cubic feet I have to work with is really interesting. Paring down to 16 ft. (total is 112 sq ft, but that includes cabinets and benches and everything) will not be super easy for me. I've always had multiple bedrooms, and I've always been a collector. I'm going to miss my vinyl and my vintage knick knacks! My unicorn collection (that makes me sound like a 70 year old lady - I'm not though)! And I have way too many clothes, again I'm a collector of vintage everything, so that will be tough too. To be fair, most of the stuff I have like furniture and clothing is for my store (I have a little online shop, PlanetQueenVintage.etsy.com: vintage is the most fun way to recycle!!). But it's really starting to hit hard what I'll have to do without! Of course I'll be able to store some of my things with my parents, but not like I do now. Though it makes me sad to think of everything I will have to get rid of, it's also incredibly freeing and wonderful to think about, because I've been overhwhelmed by materials possessions my whole life. Freedom!

 

On The Green Road

On The Green Road is Cece Reinhardt and Brenda Daugherty. I came across their website when I was researching The COMET project, and since I've found them they have been infinitely helpful and supportive of me. They were my first official sponsor! They really are wonderful people and what they have done and are doing to educate people about sustainable, mobile living is amazing.

Cece and Brenda travel the country in their gorgeous Airstream, which has been completely retrofitted with sustainable, green building materials and technologies in alternative energy. They tow their classic Airstream with a truck that runs on Biofuel (waste veggie oil). These visionary ladies give open houses and informational sessions in their off-grid Airstream, spreading the word about sustainable, healthy living. The two of them live in their Airstream full time, they even have a cat!