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USA Today Features GoGreenSolar Customer’s Dream Home! customers Philippe and Thao Jeanty have received national attention after purchasing a 9.4 kW solar system with  The couple from Tennessee was recently featured on and mentioned in the New York Times.  Here’s their story.

Philippe Jeanty is a radiologist in Nashville, Tenneessee, though he was actually born in Congo and lived in Belgium for some time.  Philippe lives with his wife Thao, who grew up in Vietnam. Philippe made a trip to the United States in the late seventies, where became interested in energy efficiency.   This curiosity eventually became the driving force behind the development of the couple’s sustainable dream home that most clean energy enthusiasts will only passively dream of.   Their home now has geothermal heating and cooling, it’s own drip irrigation system to water their garden, solar hot water heating, and a photovolatic (PV) system.

Philippe he received help from a local solar guru with the photovoltaic (PV) installation, but he designed the plans for his home with an application called Google SketchUp.  Philippe bypassed the typical method of hiring an architect, allowing him to channel his DIY work ethic.  The SkechUp plans were converted to blueprints by Scott Jenkins, and the house was built by Green Homes (Johnny and Travis Johnson).

Local springs supply the couple with usable water for their quaint farm. Their home is even set up with a drip-irrigation system to water their orchard and garden!  To heat their water, they make use of an evacuated tube solar heating system by Apricus.  According to Philippe, the water heater produces an excess of hot water in the summer.  “We have to flush out some hot water from time to time,” comments Philippe.  

The interior of the home is equipped with LED lighting and clerestory windows that provide great light in the summer with no insolation.  They oriented the house on an East-West axis to get the best insolation possible.  South-facing windows are shaded during the summer months by the roof overhang, and are fully insolated during the winter to help passively warm the house.  In addition to designing the home for passive solar, the six and a half inch walls are insultated with a corn-based spray foam.

They have also installed a geothermal heating and cooling system under their hickory wood floors, which they haven’t had to use the past three winters, even with outside temperatures of five degrees Fahrenheit!

Philippe and Thao held onto wood, windows, bathroom fixtures, and just about anything from their previous home that could be repurposed.  By collecting fallen trees on the property for their wood-burning stove, Philippe and Thao keep their home toasty during the winter months.   Wood that was once part of their old house was used to build their kitchen bar.

“Incidentally, the solar panels came with great big protective cardboard that we pulped in the shredder and it made a nice pile of mulch for 2 fruit trees.” -Philippe Jeanty

The Jeantys purchased a 5.1 kW PV system from a local company in 2010 that included twenty-four Kyocera 215 solar modules and a Sunnyboy 5000 central inverter.

After having this initial system installed, Philippe and Thao still had a residual energy bill that they wanted to shave down even more.

After talking with Deep Patel from, Philippe purchased a 9.4 kW PV system, consisting of fourty 235 Watt solar panels that were manufactured by Sharp in Memphis, Tennessee.   The Sharp solar panels were connected to Enphase M215 microinverters and secured to their roof with an IronRidge Racking solution.

“Working with Deep was painless.  He is very competent and planned every bolt and nut perfectly!”  -Philippe Jeanty

Philippe and Thao’s 2,700-square-foot home and neighboring 700-square-foot apartment (for Philippe’s mother) are now powered by this 9.4 kW grid-tie solar system, which Philippe says has been running for about 6 weeks now.  The new array alone has produced about 2 MWh already.

Philippe says tells us that around this time of the year, with a clear sky, they get about 75kWh from the total array.

Customers who use Enphase microinverters like the Enphase M215 used in the Jeantys’ system, can access Enphase’s online database with an Enphase Envoy Communications Gateway.

This device provides access to Enlighten, Enphase’s web-based monitoring software that displays detailed analytics of the PV system’s production in a user-friendly interface.   Enlighten let’s customers monitor the energy yield of each solar panel to troubleshoot any potential issues.

Customers like Philippe and Thao use Enlighten to see how much energy individual solar panels are producing. See the screenshots of the Enlighten website software below.

For the Jeantys, energy efficiency is more than just reducing their electricity bill- it’s a lifestyle.

Perhaps renewable energy systems and sustainable design will become the norm in decades to come.   Do you think the Jeanty’s sustainable design is a snapshot of the home of the future?


Author: Tom Jackson

I believe clean, renewable energy is key to the evolution of society as a whole. Solar powers our planet, why not harness it to power humanity? Let's power our homes, our work, and our vehicles with solar energy. It begins with raising awareness and encouraging those around us to go green.

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