Solar Decathlon (14)-New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington’s First Light house of 2011


Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).

Now, let’s continue onto our 14th episode of Solar Decathlon, heading toward the Southern hemisphere, looking at the First Light house design of New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington.  First Light house is a net zero energy house, meaning it generates more than or equal to the amount of energy it needs to run the house throughout the year in New Zealand. There are twenty-eight 225 watt  polycrystalline solar panels on the roof and generates 70.5 kilowatt hour per year;evacuated tube solar hot water collectors (40 evacuated tubes on the canopy); the innovative energy efficient way of drying laundry, the hydronic drying cover(drying clothes using only hot water, inside of which has racks to hold towels and clothing, running hot water through it );the energy efficient duct heat pump,  cooling system has a coefficient performance of about 3 and heating about close to 4.  Consideration for utilizing passive system for natural lighting and energy optimization are also useful in reducing energy demand.  The use of off-the-shelf  heating and ventilation products will make it easier to maintain (easy to change filters, etc.).  An energy monitoring system will also help the residents to realize how much energy is being used under different conditions.  The house is designed for an older couple of New Zealand, with compact kitchen and energy efficient appliances and durable material. Many of the furniture and spaces are adaptable for multi-functions.  Sustainability and easy social interactions are some of the focus of the design for this house.  One can see how New Zealanders’ relationship to nature, environment, and their inclination for friendly and relaxed life style. Without further ado, here is the First Light house—>

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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One Response to “Solar Decathlon (14)-New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington’s First Light house of 2011”

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