Gimme Shelter - Building a Cabin.


I found that link really interesting and as a result of your post, discovered a whole other section of the pin that I didn’t know existed! Some very interesting reading and loads more to come back to later.

I am very interested in views on whether or not wind energy is practically and economically workable for the long haul? I have researched buying wind turbines for the past number of years but they are still very expensive and there are at least 3 that I have seen that have been taken down within 2 years of having been put up. Any thoughts, suggestions or advice would be very welcome.


Inspiring stuff what a wonderful place they’ve built.


solar PV is far better than wind IMO

less maintanence and you get some power every day, even on the shortest day of the year


When you say ‘passive house’, do you mind me asking what exactly you mean? Certified ‘Passiv’? Built to the Passiv standard? Or extremely well insulated and airtight? I think that’s the general interpretation of the term… eitherway, lucky you! Says me with cold toes and a draught on the back of my neck.

Photo-voltaic cells are very affordable now, but unfortunately the feed-in tariff is terrible in Ireland and you won’t get a good rate for the surplus that you produce during our long balmy sunny summer months. In winter (when your electricity usage is at it’s highest, your energy production will be at it’s lowest). In the unlikely event that you are near a stream with reasonably significant fall then it would be worth considering a small hydroelectric turbine. The monthly production of electricity from a hydro turbine more or less matches the trend in consumption of energy in a dwelling across the year. Wind turbines? I have yet to come across a customer who is still happy after 5 years.

+1, dude.


Hi Coles,
It’s not certified, but built to passive standard. It’s nothing fancy, very plain in design, but really warm and bright. For the most part, it works, but we were advised against getting a stove, as the flue pipe would be a source of energy leakage, and I’m not sure about that now. We get to the middle of October without needing to put on any heat, then it stays around 19 degrees centigrade unless we have a sunny day and then it rises. We put blankets on our knees in the evening and hold off turning on night rate electric ( :blush: ) underfloor heating till the beginning of November. We do this most nights but if it hits 22 degrees, we skip a night. This would be ok with me if we had an alternative source of electricity, but the bills go right up until we turn it off again, usually at the end of February.

There is a river about 200 metres away and if only it was on our site we would love to use it to generate energy!


I’m building a ‘Passive standard’ house for a client at the moment, and it’ll have two stoves! The flue isn’t a problem, but the stove needs to be properly designed (just a good quality really, but of course you can get a ‘Passiv certified’ stove for €loadzamoney) with an external air supply.


Have you got HRV? You might need a separate air supply then. Stove is a must have


That’s interesting. The thing about putting a stove in now is that we would have to put the flue out through the passive wall and have been told that this would compromise the whole performance of the house. If we try and bring it up through through the upstairs and through the roof, it will make a huge mess, I think.

Have just seen your post boomshackala. Yes we do have HRV. What kind of a separate air supply would be needed then?


sure you have no other options? A stove will heat up the whole house its passive, and could be quite flexible on location I would have thought.

you either need a hole in the wall or a balanced flue afaik for guaranteed fresh air makeup


Ok, will start checking it out again, as it would be great to have a different source of heat.


The problem with solar PV at latitudes like Ireland’s is that peak supply and peak demand are almost perfectly out of phase, particularly for domestic use. You need light when it’s dark (and the sun isn’t shining), heat when it’s cold in winter, particularly at night, (when the sun isn’t shining) and power for cooking and appliances when you’re at home, mostly in the early morning or the evening and night, when the sun is low in the sky or (you guessed, isn’t shining). Your daytime base load consists of little more than your fridge and freezer. You’d get a better return making sure you have low-power appliances.

Wind works best either when fed into a grid over a large enough territory to absorb local wind speed and frequency variations or else is coupled directly to some kind of buffer, such as a pumped storage hydro station. Either way, the supply-demand management is tricky, though not impossible.


Thanks for that info. and advice MoC. Do you know if there is an efficient way of storing any non-used energy from photo PV (eg. good quality battery) for use in the evening time?
Thanks to the dude too for the response.


If you don’t mind me asking, how do you find the scanhome? We looked into one last year but found them to be a little too expensive for what we were looking to build.


This quote and thread inspired me to read Walden, for which I am thankful as it is truly a beautiful inspiring book.


Thanks for sharing that dkin. It sounds as if I would like it too. Look forward to reading it.



some interesting projects on this show. … e/series-1


Not wishing to derail the thread but it fits with the idea of following ones dreams for a life home…


Another very inspiring quote! Thanks for that wii4miinow.


Great programme on BBC 2 now. It’s the Culture show but is about building cheap housing. Just finished talking to an Irish guy Dominic Stevens