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I'm starting to plan my dream. Handcrafted, somewhere around 1800 sq ft. My property is off grid. I want to be as green as I can. I'm in northern Mn. My hope is geothermal and radiant floor heat, but I'm told that a solar/wind/battery system isn't enough to run the geothermal. There's gotta be a combo out there that will work. Perhaps adding an LP generator? I'm also looking into an outdoor wood boiler for the in floor heat? Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts? Thanks,

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Comment by Greg Solberg on February 13, 2010 at 6:23pm
A small river runs through part of my property, but not close enough to the building site. Sounds like a cool system though. Thanks for the help, and good luck with your dream!
Comment by Penny Chiasson on February 13, 2010 at 2:46pm
Are you near running water? My husband frequents the Backwoods solar website and recently forwarded me information about an Aquair submursible generator. You just need 13 inches of water running at 5 mph or faster. It doesn't require a spring head or water fall. Go to and in the left hand column drop down box select hydro-power to see the aquair.
Comment by Greg Solberg on January 6, 2010 at 11:41am
I try not to think about the payback time!!! I really have no choice since I'm off grid. And that's quite alright with me. It's just kind of scary thinking about all the equipment I'll need. I have to get a good idea on all those costs before I start planning the actual floor plan. I may end up with nothing but an outhouse, but it's gonna be a beauty!
Comment by Greg Beck on January 6, 2010 at 11:23am
I'm with ya, I hate the thought of being a slave to the power co. the rest of my life, the recoup time on alot of this stuff is kinda scarry though !
Comment by Greg Solberg on January 6, 2010 at 11:18am
Yep, after scouring the Internet, I'm pretty sure I'll be going with an indoor wood boiler/thermal storage tank. I've been looking at the Biomass brand gasification boilers. With a back up natural gas furnace - just in case - and also for when I go on a winter vacation. And with a gas stove, fridge, and dryer - I should be able to put together a worthy solar/wind/battery/generator system. Still researching though...I have lots to learn. I appreciate the comments.
Comment by logdog on January 5, 2010 at 9:48pm
i would add a wood boiler with thermal storage?once its up to temp ?wind and solar should keep it there?
Comment by Jacen James on December 21, 2009 at 10:48pm
Hi Greg,
My name is Jacen James. My family and I have a small vacation place in Ely, Mn. It consists of a garage, a log sauna, and a log outhouse. It's perfcect! Just wondering were you where in northern Mn., and wanted to say I would have loved to have used a geothermal system in our home if I could have afforded the up front cost.
Comment by Gravitas Design on November 5, 2009 at 12:50pm
A builder who is bidding on one of our projects is doing a "net zero energy" home. He has been using Daikin heat pumps for all of his super green homes. Super high efficiency paired with super insulation...and solar array.

Trim your loads, trim your loads, trim your loads.

Derek Hurd
Gravitas, Inc.
1524 W. Hays
Boise, ID 83702
Comment by Tim Bullock on October 27, 2009 at 8:12am
Greg, I agree with your previous takes a lot of energy to run the compressor for geothermal.......IMO, I would look at the outdoor wood boiler with a LP backup......I would also design the home very carefully to mitigate high energy use.

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