a perfect Autumn day on Oct. 1, 2005 for the
Metro Tour of Solar Homes. Solar homes in the DC area were
open so people could learn about this exciting technology.
A great example of how to reduce
energy bills and help the Earth at the same time was Lee
Photovoltaic (PV) cells at the
top of the roof generate electricity.
A backup unit stores power in
the event of a blackout.
The electric meter was running
backwards! Most states, including Maryland and Virginia have
"net metering". Effectively, you can sell excess electricity
back to the power company.
Hot water is provided by these
collectors. They use a high tech design developed for use in
the space program. Hot water is stored in a tank in the
basement. Often the existing water heater shell can be used
for storage, reducing costs.
Surprisingly, the tubes are cool
to the touch. They have a vacuum inside, so the outer glass
isn't even warm.
Lee Bristol runs
Renewable Energy Systems, Inc.
help you plan a system to reduce some or all of your
conventional energy use. They specialize in systems with
"evolutionary growth paths". You can start out small and
expand your system as you like.
Solar Decathlon on
the Mall, Oct. 7-16