Sing Core SIP Sale and Free Book

The Sing Core company, and builders of the Sing Tiny House, are having a clearance sale on their reinforced structural insulated panels and are also giving away a free book on tiny houses, “Sing a Song of Tiny House“, about the tiny house “rebellion” and the benefits of their lightweight panels.

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The structural panels are on sale for $128 each and are being sold in minimum packs of 20. The panels can be used to construct all four sides of an average tiny house on wheels. Each panel is 4×8 feet and 1.5 inches thick and are fully insulated. The sale is good until the end of February 2015.

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The benefits of panels include high strength (they have been tested at 660 PSI), an R-value of 6.5 per square inch and they are lightweight. They are also easy and quick to build with. The walls, floor and roof of Sing Tiny Homes are built in less than four hours. The company also construct custom panels made of wood, plywood, aluminum, metal and cement board.

If you have a specific size tiny house in mind, the company also sells various kits that are currently being offered to the Tiny House Community for 50 percent off. Sizes include 8×8 feet, 8×12 feet, 8×16 feet, 8×20 feet and 8×24 feet.

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Photos by Sing Core

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Cubicco Cabana

For anyone living in hurricane prone areas of the U.S., a new prefab company is designing and building units just for you. Cubicco designs and builds various sized units that can be attached together to create a larger building, but the one that is attracting attention is the tiny Cabana concept, which is 8×12 and costs $17,000. The full package includes all materials such as insulation, finishes, roofing, steel support legs and lifting brackets and all screws, bolts and sealants. Optional packages like rainwater catchment and solar panels are extra.

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Cubicco is a modular housing company with a focus on creating contemporary mixed communities designed around people’s health and well being. A Cubicco community is born from a profound respect for long term conservation of natural resources, energy-conscious building and pedestrian oriented urban design. Originally from the Netherlands, the company now has an office in Miami, FL.

All the Cubicco units (including the doors and windows) are designed to the 180 MPH High Velocity Hurricane Zone Florida Building Code. The pre-engineered, termite treated laminated beams are designed to withstand extreme natural conditions and are created in an assembly facility with a recycled, no-waste policy. The R-45 insulated panels are all made from recycled cellulose and the laminated beams come from FSC & PEFC Certified 15 year cycle forests. The units can be assembled anywhere in a few days and are engineered to be relocated.

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Photos by Cubicco

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

 

Scaled Solar for the Tiny House Off Grid on the Cheap

by Joe Zummach

Here are some pictures of my system. First, of course, are the Solar panels which consist of two 50 watt panels wired in parallel and then connected by way of charge controller to two deep cycle golf cart batteries. They use a 6 volt wired-in series to make the 12 volts that my system than runs on.

Solar panels

I got the panels used for fifty bucks each. The batteries cost $300, but will last at least ten years with regular maintenance. The charge controller was under a hundred dollars. The fuse box is from an auto parts store and cost $20. The fixtures are 12V halogen lights. I also have LED lights for conservation periods, such as cloudy days in winter. This, plus a small inverter for recharging my computer and small appliances, complete the system.

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Building a solar generator

Guest Post by Bill Brooks

As many of you know, I recently completed my tiny house on a trailer. I plan to travel to a few locations beginning this winter. I built my tiny house to be self contained, since most of my time will be spent in places without services (electricity, water, etc.). Since batteries will supply the house’s electrical power, I will need to recharge them often. While I will have a propane generator, I plan to use solar power for most of my needs. This should allow me to get power, and keep the costs down by not buying propane as often as if I was using the generator.

Completed Solar Cart

Often, trailers have the solar panels mounted on the roofs. This allows the panels to charge the batteries as long as there is sunlight available. The problem with this set up is you need to park your trailer in the sunlight. While this might work well in some locations, others will have trees and other obstacles that can block the sunlight. Also, certain locations might result in parking the trailer facing away from the sun, hence lowering the output of the solar panels.

Originally, I decided to place the solar panels on a cart. This would allow me to move the panels into the sun, reposition them as needed, and provide storage for the panels. As a further enhancement, I added a solar controller, battery, and inverter to the cart and turned it into a solar generator. That way I could have power available in almost any location I plan to go. With this set up, I can use both AC and DC items, such as a microwave, and even a refrigerator all powered by the sun.

The Solar Generator Parts

First, the technical details for those who are interested. The solar generator (which I call the SolGen 160) has a four major components. The 2 solar panels are rated at 80 watts each, for a total 160 watts. The solar charge controller is rated at 30 amps. The battery is a marine deep cycle model, and is rated at 210 amp hours. The inverter is provides a steady output up to 1100 watts of AC power, with a peak output of 2200 watts.

Ok, so what does all that mean. Based on the manufacture’s solar panel ratings under ideal conditions, the SolGen 160 should provide approximately 460 amps of power each week to charge a 12 volt battery. While you never want to discharge a battery completely, the output is enough to fully recharge the battery in 3 to 4 days. If you use only 25% of the battery each day, the solar generator should be able to fully charge it up during the next day. With this set up, it can power a number of appliances, such as a small microwave, TV, laptop, or even some power tools. All the comforts of home can be available wherever the cart is located, in a campground, a forest, or even the desert.

How was the cart assembled

I used 2×3 lumber as the framing for the cart, and enclosed it with the T-1 siding. The overall size of the cart is approximately 4 feet wide by 4 feet long by 4.5 feet tall. I began by building a wooden frame that fit around each panel. I then built two L-shaped pieces for each panel to hold the panels at a 45 degree angel. The L-frames were cross braced to provide a solid base for each panel. Then the two panels were attached together by screwing the frames together. Next I added the T-1 siding to enclose the cart, and a piece of plywood to form the cart floor. After that, I built doors on the back to allow access to the battery and components inside the cart. Finally, the cart was painted and caulked to prevent leaks, and wheels added to make it mobile.

Here is a video slideshow of the building process…(video created by Steven at Tiny House Listings)

Cost of Materials

The SolGen 160 cost approximately $1500 to build. The cost breakdown is as follows:

Solar Panels – $ 850
Battery+box – $ 180
Solar controller – $ 100
Power Inverter – $ 70
———-
Subtotal – $ 1200

Cart – $ 300
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Total – $ 1500
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The major portion of the cart expense was for the T-1 siding and the 2×3 lumber. The wheels, hardware and paint were a small additional cost, and purchased locally. While they lumber was purchased locally, the solar panels, controller, and inverter were all purchased from Amazon.com. While this configuration was designed to fit my needs, buying fewer or less expensive solar panels and components would reduce the cost of the cart.

Several people have expressed interest in the SolGen 160 since I posted it on Twitter and Facebook. I am considering selling a set of plans so people can build their own solar generators. If there is any interest in this, please let me know by responding to the poll below. Thank you!

Would you be interested in plans for a Solar Generator Cart?

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Burlington Microhome

Moonlight in Vermont? Sunlight might be better for this tiny solar powered home built by Alex Carver and Christopher North of Northern Timbers in Vermont. The Burlington Microhome is a 100 square-foot modular house that is off-grid and ready for additional modules to be added to it if needed.

Northern Timbers built the microhome with design help from landscape architect and metal artist H. Keith Wagner.

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Much of Northern Timbers’ work reinterprets the traditional Vermont vernacular by introducing new applications of diverse materials into the residential setting, resulting in homes with a practical yet creative aesthetic. Continue reading