taste of the tour
at the 14th ASES
National Solar Tour
By riChard Burns
SE TH MASIA
Energy efficiency and reduced dependence on fossil fuels have become
national priorities for a number of
simple reasons. Many homeowners simply want to reduce that
utility bill. Environmentalists see
fossil-fuel use as an aggravating
cause of climate change. Security-minded citizens see energy independence as a matter of national
security. Whatever your concern,
the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) 14th National Solar
Tour offers real-life examples
of how your neighbors are doing their part to further the
renewable energy revolution.
Richard Burns is
the ASES National
Solar Tour Manager
On the tour, you will join 160,000 fellow solar advocates
in more than 3,000 communities nationwide. More than
5,000 homes and public buildings will be open for viewing.
This is made possible by the efforts of more than 10,000
volunteers, thousands of homeowners and the tireless
efforts of hundreds of organizers. Their amazing commitment and eagerness to share have made the ASES National
Solar Tour the largest grassroots solar energy event in the
world! We thank the following sponsors, whose generous
financial support makes a tour on this scale happen: the
U.S. Department of Energy, Conergy, Sanyo, Sun Crystals,
Trina Solar, Apricus, BP Solar, Radiantec, SOLAR TODA Y
When you visit the tour sites, be sure to ask questions,
take notes and shoot pictures.
Welcome to the tour. Be prepared to be inspired!
Washington: Wet and windy Vashon island, in Puget sound, is
home to solar installers Jennifer and Jason Williams, owners of artisan
Electric. here, Jennifer shows off her own house to neighbor nancy Wing.
The roof hosts a 20-tube Thermomax evacuated-tube solar water-heat-
ing system and a 3.2-kilowatt (k W) grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) system
with 16 sanyo 200-watt panels and a Fronius iG 3000 inverter.
West Virginia: This small home began as a project by the 2005
university of Massachusetts solar decathlon Team. after the event in
Washington, d.C., it was moved to Berkeley springs, W.Va., and exten-
sively redesigned. despite the traditional appearance, the house has
a super-insulated envelope and a full hybrid, net-metered renewable
energy system, including a solar water heater that generates 80 percent
of the annual domestic hot water, a skystream 3. 7 wind generator, and
a 3-k W BP solar PV array.
CliCK: Find a tour near you: nationalsolartour.org