Solar House Tour   

National Tour of Solar Homes

Fall in North CarolinaHouse #1Today, the 14th October 2000,  is a nationwide Solar tour day organized by the ASES (American Solar Energy Society). Members open up their homes to the public. 

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.

The Tour

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. 


House #2Key Solar House features in North Carolina:

  • Good insulation - keeping the summer heat out.
  • Winter heating is by wood burning.
  • Large thermal mass -  4ft thick concrete slab floor heated by wood burner. Can see why thermal mass is a good idea here when we get a frost in the morning, and touch 80F (27C) in the afternoon!
  • External blinds/ screens to keep the summer sunlight out of the interior.
  • Open hall / lounge with no ceiling extending to upper floor. This circulates the air, and looks good!

Web Links gleaned from the tour brochure..

Advanced Energy

American Solar Energy Society

BP Solar

Design Collaboration

Duke Solar

Enertia Building Systems Inc

Fireplace Editions

Innovative Design

N.C. Solar Centre

North Carolina Solar Energy Association

Solar Village

Web Links gleaned from a copy of Solar Today 

Their advertiser's links page is worth a look.

AFG Industries

Backwoods Home


Dankoff Solar Pumps

Florida Solar Energy Centre



Trace Engineering

Thermo Dynamics Ltd

Related links on this site...

To Charlotte Diary

To Temperature Logger