Sustainable Living Homesteads


Sustainable, self sufficient, energy independent living homesteads are possible with the help of renewable energy systems such as solar greenhouses, windmills, photo-voltaic panels, solar collectors and solar thermal roofs.   A year round DIY solar heated greenhouse can provide food all year long as well as help get seedlings off to a good start for the organic garden. 


This is Bob's MTD DIY solar heated greenhouse, located in Canada. The large vertical glazing on the south wall of the greenhouse allows the penetration of winter sunlight and the 6'x15' MTD solar thermal roof captures additional heat. Water trickles down from the tops of these collectors and collects in a PVC drain at the bottom. From hear the solar heated water is channeled into a series of heat storage drums located inside the greenhouse. Tomato plants and pepper plants get off to an early start inside Bob's greenhouse so they are ready for his organic garden in the Spring.


Richard Heiliger's Homestead is located in Northern Utah. He uses his MTD collectors to heat his house. In January, when the outside temperature drops to -20F. At this time of year Richard is still able to harvest some solar heat as long as the sun is out and snow is off his collectors, Unfortunately Richard gets more than his fair share of snow so when the heat stored inside his 250 gallon storage tank is gone he must resort to burning wood. Fortunately freezing is never a problem with MTD since water drains from the collectors as soon as the pump shuts down.


The water inside the heat storage chamber of my Long Island sun shed never freezes. The lowest recorded temperature of the stored water dropped to 50 F in January 09 when the outside temperature reached -5F. Of course not much solar heat is collected when the shed is covered with snow, BUT the stored heat in three 60 gallon drums lasts long enough to cure the products I paint. Farmers use the energy from the sun to grow wheat and corn and oats and raise cows and pigs and chickens along with a variety of vegetables and fruit. Sustainable, independent living is accomplished by farmers who know how to harvest, store and sell the energy of the sun. You can also become a solar farmer without tilling soil or raising cattle. All you have to do is harvest the heat energy from sunlight, and make use of that heat to make products that make money. Save the planet, save energy, save money and make money with MTD solar.



Interest in solar technology is growing day by day. The prices of solar energy systems are decreasing, which is gradually allowing more and more people and businesses to benefit from clean energy and lower monthly bills. But there are still factors that hold buyers back, such as the upfront costs or the fact that it takes a little patience to reap the benefits of your investment. But the benefits of solar power easily outweigh the initially intimidating what-ifs. Here are two reasons for you to invest in solar today:

Solar Power Will Always Be Available

Solar is a reliable energy source with rapidly advancing technology on its side. But it’s not just reliable--it’s constant, available to everyone, and can never run out. For as long as the sun shines, you have access to unlimited sustainable energy. How much of that energy you can make use of depends on the type of system you have, but has nothing to do with its availability.

 It Increases Your Home Value

 Solar panels are hot on the market right now. Prospective buyers who come across a home with a solar system know they are walking into lower monthly costs and control of their own energy use. In an increasingly environment-conscious society, homes with solar systems sell faster and for an average of 17,000 dollars more than homes without solar systems, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

With all of those benefits, why wait until you’re forced to invest in solar energy by rising utility prices? Start by heading over to Modernize to learn more about installing a solar system and start taking control of your home energy use.

So what's all this MTD stuff about anyhow?
Modified Trickle Down solar heating is about a cost effective DIY solar application that can help achieve energy independent sustainable living by not only providing home heating  and solar hot water, but also by providing a means to grow food and make some of the many items that require heat. If full self sufficiency is out of the question at this time perhaps we should just focus on being less dependence on corporations, banks and government. BUT remember energy independent living is possible and it will be there waiting for you when you're ready... Surface area, living space, efficiency, cost and appearance are just a few considerations involved in the design of a solar home...

Connect with the sun today with an easy to build solar heated workshop.

MTD Solar Collector Kits
Solar Heating Controller             
Differential Controller

Collector Efficiency
Trickle Down Solar Heating

MTD Solar Heating

MTD Solar Home 
MTD Data

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