You Could Get a $4,000 Tax Credit on Solar Power in 2006
15th Annual Metro Washington DC Tour of Solar Homes and
Solar house in Takoma Park
highlights of the 2005 Solar Decathlon.
inverter from Sunny Boy. An inverter takes the direct
current (DC) voltage from solar panels and converts it
to the alternating current that the house needs. It also
converts it to 120 volts from whatever voltage the
particular cells produce. It's hard to see but the display
is indicating that 336 pounds of carbon dioxide have been
saved compared to using conventional electricity.
Appliances played a very important role in the Decathlon.
Here's a small dishwasher in Crowder College's house. It
slides out like a drawer and is perfect for smaller loads.
one school, including University Missouri-Rolla and Rolla
Technical Institute, used a combined clothes washer and
drier made by Asko. Asko has some of the most energy
efficient appliances on the market, and they're not
innovated design on the Rhode Island School of Design
house. The metal louvers on the side of the house are
hinged. Microprocessor control rotates then so they always
face toward the sun. The serve to keep the house cooler by
capturing energy from the sun that would heat up the house
and venting it away from the wall. It reduced cooling
costs by about half.
was supposed to produce enough extra electricity to charge
an electric car. These are Gemcars, made by a subsidiary
of DaimlerChrysler. Since it was very overcast for most of
the first eight days of the Decathlon, this really put the
schools to the test. The weather turned out to be a "worst
case" situation, so the students really learned a lot.
The last two
days of the event, which were on a weekend, turned out to
be beautiful. In the afternoon, the turnouts turned out to
be very high. Even a few members of Congress made the one
mile journey from the Capitol building to see the students'
people were asking questions of the students centered
around "how do I install this stuff on my house?" Since
energy costs have surged, solar energy seems now to be
perceived as not something for eccentrics, but very