In the past year we have seen four new homes that have active solar space heating systems in the Vermont ENERGY STAR Homes service.  In each case these homes have been super-insulated to minimize the amount of heat needed.  All have used hydronic radiant heat distribution and have had significant insulated water and sand mass storage capacities. 
It is not feasible to determine the suitability of your friend's (I assume existing) home for active solar heating (or any other type for that matter) without knowing either the existing energy consumption for heating or the physical materials and proportions of those materials that make up the thermal boundary of the building.  That said, I doubt that the heat load is low enough and the storage capabilities high enough for an active solar system to be very effective (again assuming this is an existing home).
Kind regards,
Jeff Gephart
Vermont ENERGY STAR Homes
  A service of Efficiency Vermont & Vermont Gas Systems
LEED for Homes
  A U.S. Green Building Council program
802-767-3861 fax
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Michelle Smith Mullarkey
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, April 25, 2008 10:31 AM
Subject: [VGBNTALK] solar vs. pellets - Goal Clarifications

Hope this helps provide some of you with the direction and clarification you asked me about- I still welcome your suggestions and personal opinions re: the benefits of the systems.



-------- Original Message --------
I would be looking to do both heat and hot water on 
solar. I have a great southern exposure and could wall mount the panels 
rather than roof mount - no shoveling!? The stove will heat one level and 
potentially some of the upstairs (I have 1500 ft2).


Michelle Smith Mullarkey

Green Building Coordinator

Capital Planning and Management

109 So. Prospect Street

The University of Vermont

Burlington, VT  05405

Desk: (802) 656-2219

Fax:   (802) 656-8237