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Tiny Solar House: Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

This tiny solar house was designed and built by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society.

I found them on Facebook not long ago and wanted to share their tiny home with you.

It has three Silicon Energy PV modules, solar air heat, and even solar hot water. Did I mention this is a passive solar tiny house?

The SIP (Structural Insulated Panels) came from The Chuba Company who you can also find on Facebook.

If you’re not familiar with SIPs check out this post from earlier this year. A company called Applied Energy Innovations also helped with the construction of this home.

It’s 8 x 16 and has additional storage in the back to store power with batteries. There’s also extra room there for hot water storage and any other extras.

Tiny Solar House

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

This solar tiny house was made possible thanks to Laura Cina, Joel Cina, Chris Burrington, Timothy Pendergast, Larissa Starr Maranell, Andrew Steven Richardson, The Chuba Company and Applied Energy Innovations.

I encourage you to enjoy the rest of the home below:

Tiny Solar House (1)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Below are the SIP panels going up which already come super insulated. What a great way to build a house, right? You just got to have some help!

Tiny Solar House (2)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Again, the SIP panels going up thanks to the help of three people.

Tiny Solar House (3)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Tiny Solar House (4)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

They used a forklift to get the SIP roof panels on.

Tiny Solar House (5)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Finally the housewrap to keep the structure moisture tight.

Tiny Solar House (6)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Below you can see that almost all of the siding is done but the roof still needs to be finished.

Tiny Solar House (7)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Tiny Solar House (8)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Nice work everybody!

Tiny Solar House (9)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

Below is the tiny house all finished and on display.

Tiny Solar House (10)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

I like how it looks better with the trailer and wheels showing.

Tiny Solar House (11)

Photo Credit Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

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To learn more about Minnesota Renewable Energy Society visit and Like their Facebook Page.

To learn more about how SIP panels work, check out this SIP tiny house we featured earlier this year.

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Alex

Alex is the founding editor of TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. Send in your story and tiny home photos so we can share and inspire others towards simplicity too. Thank you!

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • DJ Spell January 29, 2013, 9:33 pm

    Thanks for the share. This is quite an intriguing design.

  • will January 19, 2013, 8:31 pm

    There is also an aluminium clad s.I.p. that we use here in Florida.That panel is lighter and can be connected as strong as the osb and it’s more resistant to the elements.

  • Tiny Houses Hankerings December 28, 2012, 9:24 pm

    this is near me! I haven’t even heard of it until now. I’d like to see the inside as well. I wonder if it’s even done yet. They do have a blueprint of how they planned to lay it out at:
    http://mnrenewables.org/node/1222

    They also said one of their goals was to have someone live in it and blog about it but I don’t know if they are doing that yet. That would be very cool.

  • Barbara Landers November 30, 2012, 9:00 pm

    I would like to see the INSIDE of this tiny solar house…or is it empty? Thnx!

    • Carol December 1, 2012, 3:46 pm

      Yes, I would like to see what kind of living arrangements are on the interior too. As it is, it is just a cool looking solar box.

  • Glema November 30, 2012, 6:34 pm

    Very nice thank you for sharing!

  • Rachel November 30, 2012, 4:51 pm

    If your interested in touring the Tiny Solar House visit http://www.ElkRiverMN.gov/EnergyCity and request a tour! The house will be in Elk River, MN for the winter and the City would love you show you around!

  • Pat November 30, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Cool building method but don’t like OSB. Pat

  • LaMar Alexander LaMar November 30, 2012, 1:14 pm

    It’s about time someone showed their tiny home powered by the sun!

    I have been using a 480 watt solar and 400 watt wind turbine to power my cabin for years and costs for equipment have come way down to about $1 a watt.

    Using energy efficient appliances a 500 watt system will run all your gadgets, lights, water pump and a small fridge.

    I would have recommended one of the vacuum tube solar water heaters instead of the panel heater it looks like they are using.

    I would also suggest an addition solarium porch and solar air heaters for passive solar heating.

    With the right setup you can easily and afford-ably have a net zero off-grid tiny home.

    SIPS make sense for small structures and you can build your own using foamcore board covered by wafer board and 2×4 brace on the side/ends.

    SIPS reduce overall weight in walls and bridging transfer of heat and cold so improves efficiency.

    SIPS cost a little more to build but make up for it in savings on heating/cooling and quicker construction time.

    LaMar

    LaMar

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