configuration | AiDomes

Exterior solar Pineapple garage

Solar Hot Water Panel Mounted On Top of Standard Entryway on 34′ Dome.


Harlock solar

Solar Hot Water Panel Mounted On Top of Link

40′ American Ingenuity Dome Home On Right

Tell me about the Solar Hot Water Systems Manual talked about in the magazine Alternative Energy Retailer.

Solar energy veteran Tom Lane of ECS Solar Energy Systems recently published “Solar Hot Water Systems – Lessons Learned: 1977 to Today.” The 200 page manual outlines how the latest technology and valuable lessons learned from the past can help a new generation of solar contractors expand their businesses and satisfy their Customers.

Solar hot water topics covered in the book include: detailed system CAD drawings, an overview of different manufacturers’ components, drain back systems, closed-loop glycol systems, single- and double-pumped systems, open-loop systems, passive ICS and thermosyphon, system testing and monitoring, solar space heating, collector and storage sizing, roofing and flashing, and solar pool heating.

To learn more about “Solar Hot Water Systems – Lessons Learned: 1977 to Today” or to purchase a copy, visit or call 352-377-8866.

To view info about solar panels in general, check out Evergreen Solar Web site.  They are a non profit group with a mission to educate homeowners and businesses about the economic and environmental benefits of PV solar. Their primary objective is to influence a greater number of solar panel installations on homes, schools, and businesses across the US and the rest of the world at an accelerating pace.

To view the Alternative Energy Retailer magazine’s web site click on Retailer.

Q: How are Solar Hot Water Panels installed in the dome shell?

A: Solar Hot Water panels can be designed to set on top of the entryways or a link. Anchors are buried into the entryway concrete on site. Grooves are cut in the E.P.S. insulation to lay the pipes in and the water pipes are inserted through the entryway E.P.S. before the entryway is concreted. Some of our clients have solar hot water panels mounted on their dome link. The panel sits on the link and lies against the side of the dome. To hide the ends of the solar panel, fill in the ends with E.P.S. and stucco over the E.P.S. so it matches the dome.

The Florida Solar Energy Center seeks to provide the general public and professionals with accurate and current information about alternative energy use and production.

Contact the U.S. Dept of Energy for a Consumers Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. 

Solar Direct: click on to see more solar info.
Sharp triangle solar panels: (Click on Products, Modules)

The following was taken directly from their web site:

  • Sharp is the #1 manufacturer of solar cells worldwide with nearly as much generating capacity as the next three largest manufacturers combined. Our residential solar systems give families the ability to generate their own electricity from the inexhaustible energy of the sun – with no harmful emissions. They’re cost-effective, quiet, attractive, safe, and reliable, with only minimal maintenance required over their long operational life. They’re the right choice for your home and the right choice for the environment. It’s no wonder why so many homeowners are making the move to Sharp Solar.
  • Your Sharp solar system is customized specifically for your needs. We manufacture a complete line of solar modules in a range of power output levels, as well as unique triangular modules that lend a beautiful, custom look to angled rooflines. Your independent Sharp Certified Installer will help you determine the ideal system based on your power needs, and design a rooftop configuration that provides clear, unobstructed access to the sun while ensuring a clean, stylish appearance.

To Research Tankless Hot Water On Demand Water Heaters visit Rinnai, Bosch, Takagi web sites

Klaus Kolb installed a Rinnai Continuum tankless (Troughflow) water heater in his American Ingenuity 40′ Dome Home. The specifications are Whole House Unit, Model REU 2424W-US; Min 19000 BTU, Max 180000 BTU; LP Gas.


The following info came directly from their web site:

  • With Rinnai Continuum and Integrity’s patented technology, you will have an endless supply of hot water 24 hours a day. Unique to the Rinnai tankless water heaters is the ability to utilize up to three water outlets simultaneously with a constant temperature of hot water. The Rinnai Continuum and Integrity supplies hot water at the rate of up to 8.5 gallons per minute continuously with no time constraints!



The following info came directly from their web site:

  • Have you ever thought about going tankless? Save energy and space with the help of one of the nation’s leading producers of tankless gas water heaters. Our highly efficient Bosch AquaStar tankless water heaters are redefining how homeowners throughout the U.S. heat their water!

How could going tankless benefit you?

  • Constant comfort: Never run out of hot water
  • Low operating costs: Most energy efficient water heaters on the market
  • Advanced technology: Designed and built to last 20 years
  • Easy handling: Small, lightweight and hangs on wall


Takagi: The following came from their web site.

  • Since there is no tank to fill, there is no end to your supply of hot water. Depending on the model, Takagi Tankless water heaters deliver between 200 gallons and 500 gallons of hot water every hour on demand. Tankless systems guarantee that an endless supply of water is available to residences, commercial spaces or anywhere a constant source of hot water is needed.
  • At just twenty inches high, and weighing only forty pounds, the T-K Jr. is the most compact unit in the Takagi line. Designed to produce endless hot water and radiant heating for smaller homes, The T-K Jr. uses the same innovative technology as the original Takagi units – only on an even smaller scale.

Solar Pool Filtration and Collector Pumps

Lorentz  – solar water pumps

The following information came directly from their web site:

  • We manufacture solar water pumps. Today´s featured product are our solar pool filtration and collector pumps. No more power bills for your customer. Power cuts? No Problem the pool is clean 5 years return of investment from saved power bills. Solar modules are warranted for 20 years and more.


U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy -A Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The following info came from their web site.

Solar water heaters—also called solar domestic hot water systems—can be a cost-effective to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use—sunshine—is free.

How They Work

Solar water heating systems include storage tanks and solar collectors. There are two types of solar water heating systems: active, which have circulating pumps and controls, and passive, which don’t.

Most solar water heaters require a well-insulated storage tank. Solar storage tanks have an additional outlet and inlet connected to and from the collector. In two-tank systems, the solar water heater preheats water before it enters the conventional water heater. In one-tank systems, the back-up heater is combined with the solar storage in one tank.

Three types of solar collectors are used for residential applications:

  • Flat-plate collector – Glazed flat-plate collectors are insulated, weatherproofed boxes that contain a dark absorber plate under one or more glass or plastic (polymer) covers. Unglazed flat-plate collectors—typically used for solar pool heating—have a dark absorber plate, made of metal or polymer, without a cover or enclosure.
  • Integral collector-storage systems –  Also known as ICS or batch systems, they feature one or more black tanks or tubes in an insulated, glazed box. Cold water first passes through the solar collector, which preheats the water. The water then continues on to the conventional backup water heater, providing a reliable source of hot water. They should be installed only in mild-freeze climates because the outdoor pipes could freeze in severe, cold weather.
  • Evacuated-tube solar collectors – They feature parallel rows of transparent glass tubes. Each tube contains a glass outer tube and metal absorber tube attached to a fin. The fin’s coating absorbs solar energy but inhibits radiative heat loss. These collectors are used more frequently for U.S. commercial applications.

There are two types of active solar water heating systems:

  • Direct circulation systems:  Pumps circulate household water through the collectors and into the home. They work well in climates where it rarely freezes.
  • Indirect circulation systems:  Pumps circulate a non-freezing, heat transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows into the home. They are popular in climates prone to freezing temperatures.

Passive solar water heating systems are typically less expensive than active systems, but they’re usually not as efficient. However, passive systems can be more reliable and may last longer. There are two basic types of passive systems:

  • Integral collector-storage passive systems:  These work best in areas where temperatures rarely fall below freezing. They also work well in households with significant daytime and evening hot-water needs.
  • Thermosyphon systems: Water flows through the system when warm water rises as cooler water sinks. The collector must be installed below the storage tank so that warm water will rise into the tank. These systems are reliable, but contractors must pay careful attention to the roof design because of the heavy storage tank. They are usually more expensive than integral collector-storage passive systems.

Solar water heating systems almost always require a backup system for cloudy days and times of increased demand.Conventional storage water heaters usually provide backup and may already be part of the solar system package. A backup system may also be part of the solar collector, such as rooftop tanks with thermosyphon systems. Since an integral-collector storage system already stores hot water in addition to collecting solar heat, it may be packaged with a demand (tankless or instantaneous) water heater for backup.

Installing and Maintaining the System

The proper installation of solar water heaters depends on many factors. These factors include solar resource, climate, local building code requirements, and safety issues; therefore, it’s best to have a qualified, solar thermal systems contractor install your system.

After installation, properly maintaining your system will keep it running smoothly. Passive systems don’t require much maintenance. For active systems, discuss the maintenance requirements with your system provider, and consult the system’s owner’s manual. Plumbing and other conventional water heating components require the same maintenance as conventional systems. Glazing may need to be cleaned in dry climates where rainwater doesn’t provide a natural rinse.

Regular maintenance on simple systems can be as infrequent as every 3–5 years, preferably by a solar contractor. Systems with electrical components usually require a replacement part after or two after 10 years.

When screening potential contractors for installation and/or maintenance, ask the following questions:

  • Does your company have experience installing and maintaining solar water heating systems?
    Choose a company that has experience installing the type of system you want and servicing the applications you select.
  • How many years of experience does your company have with solar heating installation and maintenance?
    The more experience the better. Request a list of past customers who can provide references.
  • Is your company licensed or certified?
    Having a valid plumber’s and/or solar contractor’s license is required in some states. Contact your city and county for more information. Confirm licensing with your state’s contractor licensing board. The licensing board can also tell you about any complaints against state-licensed contractors.


If you do not want to access the dome second floor by walking up the stairs, install a rail chair or a lift or an elevator.  This way the second floor is easily accessed and your construction budget is less because one dome can be built to house your rooms on two floors instead of building a larger dome with only the first floor constructed.  However if you prefer to have only the first floor in the dome, Ai can design your building plans with one floor only.

American Ingenuity has incorporated elevators and lifts into several domes.  Each device has its own specs.  Of course the main concern is the height the unit requires above the second floor. Therefore  the unit is usually placed near the center of the dome.

Bottom line, please select a unit and provide American Ingenuity with its specs and we will analyze its incorporation into your floor plan design.  Stairs within the Ai dome normally have two steps & a landing before the straight stairs begin. To install a rail chair on this type stair then a 90 degree rail chair is installed to make the turn.   If you want to install a straight chair lift then Ai will analyze the plan you selected to see if the stairs can be customized so that a 3’x3′ area is at the bottom of the stairs with no landing – this way there is no right turn for the lift to take.

Per the web site for Nationwide Lifts  Stair Lifts are the most economical means for assistance between floors. Curved and straight tracks are available. 

The following information came from Nationwide Lifts web site:

If handling stairs in your home is difficult or unsafe, let us save you the trouble of struggling up and down. With smooth rack and pinion drive and battery power, our Stair Lifts will effortlessly take you up and down the stairway, even during a power outage. The neutral colors and modern appearance can coordinate with practically any décor, and its slim rail and carriage save room on the steps to allow others access past the lift.

Nationwide Lifts offers a curved Stair Lift that is custom fit to any staircase. Spiral staircases, fold-back stairs, 90/180 degree turns, and flat landings are no problem for our Stair Lifts. The innovative design of the makes it the ideal companion for anyone with mobility needs.

Standard Features:

    • 300 lb (136 kg) capacity
    • Rack and pinion drive
    • Electronic controller with soft start
    • Dynamic motor braking and self locking gearbox
  • 2” (51mm) rigid double square tube construction
  • Inside and outside radius curve capabilities
  • Spiral and flat landing configurations
  • Support posts anchored to stair treads (no wall required)
  • Almond beige seat and rail
  • Continuous pressure buttons
  • Wireless call-send controls at both landings
  • Foldable footrest, seat and padded armrests
  • Seat that swivels and locks in 60°and 90° positions both directions
  • 115 VAC – plugged in at top or bottom landing

Straight Stair Lift.  Our Stair Lifts for straight stairs are easily installed in 2 hours. There are so easy in-fact that we sell these as a do-it-yourself kit. This is a very economical way to acquire assistance between floors.

Standard Features:

  • 300 lb (136 kg) capacity
  • Rack and pinion drive
  • Electronic controller with soft start
  • Support posts anchored to stair treads (no wall required)
  • Almond beige seat and rail
  • Continuous pressure buttons
  • Wireless call-send controls at both landings
  • Foldable footrest, seat and padded armrests
  • Seat that swivels and locks in 45°and 90° positions both directions
  • 115 VAC – plugged in at top or bottom landing

For a quotation, call 1-888-323-8755

For information on stair lifts/rail chairs you can also click on
For information on lifts click on

The following information came from Jazzy Electric’s web site:

This vertical platform Lift is an interior or exterior lift that can be used for lifting persons with physical disabilities from the ground up-to the main floor of their home or outside lifting up to the porch or the steps. Lift can also be used in commercial applications such as restaurants or office buildings. The lift is designed to meet U.S. and Canadian safety standards and can easily be adapted to various situations.

Versatility is a key to this lift. Can be used to stop at 3 different heights. Can lift from 14″ up to 144″. Designed for easy installation. Smaller units 52″ and down can be installed in 30 minutes.

The lift described sells for around $3,500.

This Lift is smooth and provides quiet performance. Dependable and Versatile Unit is Perfect for Residential or Commercial Application. All lifts can be configured to meet the AME A 17.1 or A 18.1 depending on the options selected. This lift also meets ADA requirements in most states.

Listed below are some of the features of this outstanding versatile lift:

  • Weight capacity of 550 pounds
  • Unit uses standard 110v/15a wall outlet.
  • Straight though platform is 54″ long x 34″ wide
  • Keyed call send stations available
  • Keyed Emergency stop to control use of lift
  • Soft Touch Control Pads designed for easy operation.
  • Direct Drive Worm-Gear
  • Maintenance Free Operation
  • Standard Metal Platform has a diamond grill that allows for full visibility under the platform

For information on elevators click on

The following information came from home elevator’s web site:
We sell and install residential home elevators in every state nationwide We are here to help. Whether you are looking for a stair lift, home elevator, wheelchair lift, porch lift, or dumbwaiter… our knowledgeable staff will give you sound advice.

With over 35 years in the home elevator business, Nationwide Lifts has the experience and knowledge to assist you with your needs. We truly enjoy what we do, helping people with special needs at a fair price is gratifying work. With residential home elevators up to six levels, we can handle the most demanding custom home needs. Call us today and experience the highest level customer service in the industry, 24 hours, 7 days a week.  888-323-8755

Our elevators maximizes a person’s independence by enabling him/her to move from one floor to another within a home or a public building. It is very useful to wheelchair users as it is unnecessary to transfer out of the chair.

Elevators also add value and prestige to homes. Elevators can be designed into new home construction or added to existing homes. They require minimal space and can be installed in nearly any home configuration. Our elevators are designed to match home furnishings.