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Sassy Lilac is an earth sheltered, low maintenance, with solar powered backup, 621 sq ft house in Virginia.

Sassy Lilac was built for approximately $40,000, not including well, septic system and solar electric system.  The house has generous natural lighting, is very low maintenance and requires very little heat and air conditioning compared to a conventional home.  During the summer a small one room air conditioner is adequate for the entire house.  During the cooler months one electric radiator is all that is needed most of the time.  On really cold days a propane heater may be used for a short while to warm the house very fast.  The small wood stove, a Jotul 602, is more than adequate for the entire house.  On most sunny winter days, passive solar heat from south facing glass provides most of the daytime heating.

Exterior walls are 8 inch thick concrete.  Siding is a concrete product called Hardy Plank.  The house is very low maintenance.

The building could be described as a walk-in basement with a roof.

More Sassy Lilac downloads and pictures:

Solar Electric System

The cost of my original 24 volt, 450 amp-hr system using 1000 watts of solar panels was:

Qty Item Unit Total
8 Kyocera KC125G 12V Solar Panel $573.00 $4,584.00
4 30? Module interconnections $32.00 $128.00
1 MNPV6 Combiner Box $91.56 $91.56
4 12 Amp Circuit Breakers $10.92 $43.68
1 Trace C60 Charge Controller $166.00 $166.00
1 TM-2020 Trimetric Meter $135.00 $135.00
Shipping for above $135.00
8 Trojan T105 6V Battery $75.00 $600.00
1 Battery Cable Interconnections $100.00
2 Inverter Cables $100.00 $200.00
1 400 Amp fuse and holder $83.00 $83.00
1 Xantrex 3624 Inverter $1,350.00 $1,350.00
1 Battery Box (homemade)
1 500 Amp Shunt $28.00
1 Aluminum mounts for 8 solar panels $400.00
$8,016.24

Batteries can be charged from either the sun, the grid, or a generator.