Friday, May 15, 2009

Solar (No So) Powered House

Students from Lawrence Technological University in Troy Michigan built an 800 square foot

"shining example of the green movement -- a completely independent solar-powered house with no gas or electrical hookups"

This technological marvel had only two little problems:

1) it cost over $900,000 dollars
2) it didn't work.

That's right, $900,000 dollars. That is $1,125 per square foot. If I was to build my current home from the same technology at the same price it would cost over 2.8 million dollars. Which is probably a great deal. I would be off the grid, I would never have to pay an electric or gas bill again. Heck I should do this. After all its free energy right? Never mind that it will cost almost 3 million up front. Think about how much I will save in the long run. At the current rate that I pay per month for electrical and gas I will make up that 2.8 million dollars in just 11,250 months. Heck that's just a piddling little 937 years, 6 months. What a deal! Where do I sign up? Just think if I do this right now, without delay, my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren will be able to live here for free.

Oh, wait, I forgot about the second little problem. The system didn't work well enough to produce enough power to keep the heater working during the winter, the pipes froze, flooded that house and now the City of Troy doesn't have the $16,000 dollars they need to repair their new state of the art house. Whoops, I better recalculate my numbers. If I have to add an additional $16,000 per year, plus the cost of living somewhere else while my house is fixed each year, you had better add a whole bunch more greats to that list above.

Now to make matters even worse, the Oakland County Planning and Economic Development Department advertised tours of the house for its Tuesday Oakland County Green Summit.

Yeah, thats the ticket. Lets have a green summit and we will all tour the little house that couldn't. Does anyone think that anyone in the Troy area learned anything from this little exercise in incompetence and stupidity. I wonder, how many scholarships the $900,000 dollars could have provided for deserving students at the Lawrence Technological University to go to a real engineering school where they might learn some real engineering.

Don't get me wrong now. I'm all for sane common sense ideas that will protect our environment. You know things like don't litter, don't polute, turn off the lights when you leave the room, limit the amount of running around town you do, stuff like that. But spending close to a million dollars on an 800 square foot house that doesn't work is insane. Isn't there anyone in the city of Troy, the University, the student body, anywhere around there that said "maybe we could put this money to better use somewhere else?" Even if the goram house did work who in their right mind thinks that building a million dollar closet that is off the grid is a good idea?


1 comment:

Stan said...

You can't spell "learn" using the letters in "liberal" and "democrat". Just not in their mindset. What is obviously the problem is the companies price gouged the school.

Or it could be that solar is not the way to build an off the grid house in northern states. If they had done some more research they may have found that off the grid only works in some areas. Rather the money would have been better spent researching various ways to build in Michigan to improve the quality and efficiency of the homes.