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snow dome northey good

An American Ingenuity Dome utilizing photovoltaics

Exterior3 Mathes photo cells

Exterior2 off grid collar MESA2

Collar Dome Built In Utah Utilizing Photovoltaics

Q: Can photovoltaics be used with your dome?

A: Yes. The magazine, Home Power has dedicated more than 100 issues to home-scale renewable energy and sustainable living solutions. That means they have had comprehensive coverage of solar, wind, and microhydro electricity, home energy efficiency, solar hot water systems, space heating and cooling, green building materials and home design, efficient transportation, and much, much more. Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or not, off-grid or on-grid, Home Power can help you make informed decisions about your home energy use. They provide extensive product information, homeowner testimonials, buyer advice, and “how-to” instructions.

The following Home Power article describes the Moab, Utah dome home built by the Collar’s.

What do you need when you are going to live in a high desert (7,500 ft. elev.) 40 miles from the nearest town with the winters reaching down 20 degrees below zero? That is where Jim & Mary Collar planned to build their solar retirement home. To extend electric power to their home site would cost $22,000 (in 1996) so the Collars decided to produce their power using photovoltaic solar cells with a back up generator. Their primary source of heat would be their fireplace.

In 1995 after researching many alternative-building methods, they found their home, an American Ingenuity 45′ Dome House and 30′ garage. Our dome kits were selected for their strength, energy efficiency and affordability. They selected subcontractors for the construction of their two domes with Mary being the general contractor. Jim was commuting 40 miles to his job but on evenings and weekends they could work together. They were asked by the state of Utah to participate in “Utahs’1998 Tour of Innovative Homes” which is in conjunction with the American solar Energy Society’s National Tour of solar Homes.

Ai converted the Home Power four page article into four separate pdf pages. 

Click on each page to view it.

National Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV)

US Department of Energy Research and development, and information source on photovoltaics. Website includes a virtual library of online reference materials. The Center brings people together through conferences and forums to share information and concerns. And the Center provides and develops various forms of information for people with a wide range of solar and wind needs. Click on Solar.

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

Home Power Magazine

If you are considering an alternative power system in your dome the magazine Home Power offers many solutions. They can be reached at their web site

Solar Hot Water Panels

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 Leaned: 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 the Alternative Energy Retailer magazine’s web site click on

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 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.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Look to the right of the On top of the entryway to the

garage door to see a left of the front doors is

solar hot water panel a solar hot water panel.

installed on top a link

and anchored to 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. Click on

U.S. Dept of Energy, Renewable Energy

The Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is now located at