- This web site has been created entirely with solar and wind power -
(best viewed at 800 x 600 resolution - images will appear a little small at 1024 x 768)

BUILDING PROJECTS - listen to our "theme song"
- new straw bale house

- greenhouse
- retrofitting our mobile home
- lime stucco plastering
- installing radiant floor heating
- plans for a small "starter" straw bale house

- solar electric (PV)
- rain water harvesting

- solar hot water
- hydronic heating
- wind generator
- solar cooking

- building projects
- RE systems
- overall budget

- "Achieving Self-sufficiency"
- good books and magazines
- from our "soap box"
- Energy Saving Tips from Mindy
- some great quotes

- wildlife pictures
- articles by Jim Phypers
- Jim's recorder music site
- Ghost Cat's home page

- a little about us
- comments about Solar Haven
- the latest news - March, 2004

- getting in touch with us

- sign our guestbook

The Phypers Family
Tucson, Arizona

Jim and Mindy

Homer the "Lap Dog"
Commander Ghost
of the Solar Haven Desert Pack Rat Patrol

Four years ago...
(and not exactly being spring chickens at ages 45 and 59)
we purchased four acres in the Sonoran Desert foothills west of Tucson
There was no house and also no road or water or power,
but incomparable natural beauty, quiet, and peacefulness.

"On a clear day you can see forever..."


The first steps were to grade in a road, dig a septic system, and move in a mobile home as a temporary residence. Then we began working toward converting the mobile home into an energy efficient, attractive, and comfortable place to live.

We added...

- the polyurethane roofing project -

At the same time...
(err... not such a good an idea
since we learned there are not 37 hours in the day),
we worked toward self-reliance and independence

from conventional utilities...

Solar Electric (PV) System

Wind Generator

Rain Water Harvesting


Solar Hot Water and Hydronic Heating System

"Yikes, here comes a bunch of materials to build the

("Who planned all these projects anyway?!")

A grand greenhouse emerges from the desert...
("It didn't look that big in the drawing...")

Take a break...


After two years of...
(the usual cuts and scratches),
sweat (golly
gee, it really does get hot in the desert),
and tears (of exhaustion and frustration and of j
we begin construction on a new and permanent home.

Built of bales of straw...







Click HERE for
pictures of all phases of construction plus:

- design details
- floor plan diagram
- a complete budget of what the house is costing

Perhaps the best part of all ...
is the remarkable beauty of our
Sonoran Desert home.

(view from back yard)

("Cholla Cactus" and "Fishhook Barrel Cactus" in flower next to the house)

(view from front yard)

So many interesting neighbors

have introduced themselves.

- critter list and pictures -



      1 - Generates electricity to light our house and run its many gadgets
      (stereo, computer, coffee maker, microwave, vacuum cleaner, power tools, etc.)

      2 -
      Powers our SLCDD ("Solar Linear Clothes Drying Device" -- patent pending)

      3 - Keeps the air warm in our greenhouse to grow vegetables and herbs year round

      4 - Heats water in our "Thermomax" Hot Water Heating Unit to provide all the domestic hot water we need and also all the water needed for the radiant heating system in the floors to heat our house

      5 - Cooks our food using a "Global SunOven"

      6 - Heats water in the portable "solar shower"

      7 - Our friend the Sun also saves us a lot of money each month because we have no electric bill and no gas bill.


      8 - And makes us happy!

Post script...

"For twelve years now we have been enjoying cooking our dinners with the
power of the sun...

Visit Mindy's web site:

" Sun Ovens Are Wonderful"

At the end of the day,
and in the morning too,
the Arizona desert puts on a show like nothing we have ever seen.

Monsoon rain storms
during July and August are awesome.

By way of general orientation
and so you won't get lost when you come to visit...

We love visitors. Send for a little bit more
detailed map of how to get here!

Write to us anytime...


To the special folks who have helped with Solar Haven:

Rush Dougherty, Ann and Ron Serandos, Joanie McNiece, Rick Frazier and Andiron, Warren Luzon at "Northern Arizona Wind and Sun", Rod Hyatt at "In Hot Water and Heating", John, Marilyn, Jason, and Roger at "Sun-Southwest", Art and Katherine Jacobson, Dennis Williams, Tina Monaghan and Jake, Rette and Rick, Lyndol Michael, Shay, Christine and Lacy, Ben and Maria, Kristen and Shannon, Paul Huddy, Michael Smith

Copyright 2000-2003 by Jim Phypers

GUESTBOOK - thanks for visiting Solar Haven!

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Our web site has grown and grown in both size and popularity and is now receiving a rather incredible 2.7 million hits per year with a bandwidth of over 5.0 GB per month. Since we are living on a small fixed income now and have used up the "nest egg" with which we came to Arizona, we could use a little help meeting server costs and keeping solarhaven.org on the Internet. A small donation would be much appreciated. At the same time you will be helping us in our mission to promote a simpler, saner, self-sufficient, and sustainable way of living on our troubled and endangered planet.

Donations can be made through PayPal and
will be shown as "solarhaven.org" on your credit card or bank debit card...


This Solar Haven site contains 40 separate web pages, over 250 photographs and diagrams, and considerable technical information. Try using the search engine below to find specific things you are looking for...

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