The tour is held as part of the ASES National Tour of Solar Homes that includes every state on the same Saturday in October.
The nearest tour is in Pittsboro, a couple of hours away. (I am aware that the fuel I burnt negates all their efforts. Be quiet.)
I was expecting a bit more
high tech - no. Draft excluders and concrete floors as a heat store is about it.
I toured 2 houses. Both were occupied by couples in their early fifties, complete with cats, in custom built houses that are comfortable, set in the middle of some woods. No they weren't cranky isolationists living in log cabins.
Both houses used Passive Solar technology, one built in 1996 , the other 1999.
What is a Passive Solar Home?
A Passive Solar Home is designed to take advantage of the sun's heat in winter. They are shaded in the summer and "swing" months. They have a pre-calculated thermal mass made of concrete, stone, tile etc. Their solar features face south. The building itself is the solar collector and heat storage system.
American Solar Energy Society
Enertia Building Systems Inc
N.C. Solar Centre
North Carolina Solar Energy Association
Their advertiser's links page is worth a look.
Dankoff Solar Pumps
Florida Solar Energy Centre
Thermo Dynamics Ltd
To Charlotte Diary
To Temperature Logger