For lovers of clean, efficient, modern design with an eye toward outside living, ClearSpace Homes has come up with a few designs to appeal to people who want a tiny house. ClearSpace has been selling their prefab homes in the Austin, Texas area for several years and some parts of each design can be customized by the buyer. Their homes are offered in several colors and the interior can include reclaimed or new materials. A customized ClearSpace home will run about $125 per square foot which does not include site work, the foundation or shipping.
The first of their tiny homes is the ClearSpace Casita. This 432 square foot home includes a studio space that can accommodate a murphy bed/storage wall, work area, or built in display/book shelf. There is also space for a compact kitchen, a 3/4 bath and a generous sleeping/storage room. The best feature of the Casita is the protective enclosure that allows the owner to enjoy the outdoors. The interior space of the home has sliding glass doors which can be opened to allow for cross ventilation and there is a skylight above the loft. The base price of the Casita is $51,240.
If you need a small oven that does not take up lots of space and uses the sun to operate the Global Sun Oven may be what you are looking for. Following are features that make this solar oven stand out and is worth looking at for an oven for your tiny house. The cool thing is that this is also made here in America.
One Piece Collapsible Reflectors
The GLOBAL SUN OVEN® can be set up for use or taken down for storage in a matter of seconds. The reflectors literally fall into place at an angle that allows you to maximize the power of the sun.
The reflectors are made of highly polished, mirror-like anodized aluminum that can be cleaned quickly and easily with glass cleaner, and they will never oxidize or rust.
There is never any need to worry about your food spilling in a GLOBAL SUN OVEN®. While cooking, your food rests on a shelf that self adjusts to always stay level as you refocus.
Easy Temperature Monitoring
A built in thermometer allows you know the temperature at a glance.
Self-Contained Leveling Leg
As the sun is at different points on the horizon the GLOBAL SUN OVEN® can readily be adjusted to follow it. A simple adjusting leg allows you to choose from 9 angled positions.
Extremely Well Insulated
A thick batt of non-toxic insulation retains heat. Food cooked in the sun and left in the oven will remain hot for hours. Cold air is held out allowing the GLOBAL SUN OVEN® to be used on sunny days year around regardless of the ambient temperature.
Light Weight, Easy to Carry
The GLOBAL SUN OVEN® weighs only 21 pounds (9.5 kg), folds up like a suitcase, and is equipped with a handle for easy transport.
To learn more visit http://www.sunoven.com
I have also seen a couple of videos on Youtube for building your own sun oven so this could also be an option.
Watch how it works in the videos below.
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.
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
Total – $ 1500
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!
This tiny house is just a few blocks away from me in Washoe Valley, Nev. Each time I drove by, I was intrigued by its strange shape and perfect size.
It turns out it’s a tiny observatory built by a local man named Michael. His neighbors affectionately call it the “Milk Carton.”
He built it about 3 years ago and it took him several months. It is 2×4 construction built on concrete piers, but does not have heat, plumbing or insulation. It is two stories tall and an internal ladder goes up to the second story. Michael owns several telescopes and uses the house for digital imaging. The telescope sits on the second floor scanning the sky, and Michael sits on the bottom floor with a computer capturing the images. He is mostly interested in planetary nebula. Continue Reading »