2011 Solar Home Tour
Southside, 2 October 2011
Intro and map
Note: An address for each
location will be provided after
Bus Tour: (marked with an "**"
Ernie Morgan Center (leave 9:45),
- The Southside tour begins here
with a free Basics of Photovoltaics
workshop at 9:00am.
will be open only from 9 AM to Noon.
Features: PV system, daylighting,
reused materials, eco-friendly
décor, EcoGarden, straw-bale room.
system provides approximately 40% of
the Center’s electrical needs. Four
sun tubes and numerous windows take
advantage of day-lighting. Reused
materials were utilized throughout,
including recycled linoleum,
carpeting made of recycled plastic
bottles, wallpaper from old posters
and a hardwood floor reclaimed from
an old pier. Low-flow faucets have
been installed in each restroom, and
programmable thermostats in two
zones of the building help regulate
heating/cooling for increased energy
efficiency. The Center was recently
painted with no-VOC paints. The
EcoGarden showcases green gardening
techniques - native plants, rain
barrels, rain gardens, a compost
demonstration area, a pervious paver
walkway and passive heating/cooling
use of vegetation. An office with
three straw-bale walls is available
for viewing, with displays to
showcase the depth of insulation and
the actual bales of straw.
2S. Team Tidewater Design Studio
Team Tidewater is a collaboration
University’s architects and Old
University’s engineers to
design build their entry to the
Department of Energy’s Solar
You can see Team Tidewater’s
house on the Mall in Washington, DC
from Sept 23 to Oct 2
(www.teamtidewaterva.org/), or if
you can’t get there, stop in here to
see visuals of the house and its
3S. Delhaise/Amundsen Home
- This home has a PV solar electric
system of 21 panels, large enough to
nearly eliminate the electric bill
from the utility.
home also has a Geo-Thermal heating
and cooling system. This system
replaces the downstairs furnace and
air conditioner and pumps heat from
the ground in the winter and cooling
from the ground in the summer.
There is also a solar water heater
consisting of two collectors on the
rear roof with the tank in the
4S. Baum Home
Features: Solar PV and hot water
16 (215-watt) Sunpower solar PV
panels are mounted on the south
facing roof with a 4 kW inverter
that will handle up to 22 panels
with net metering connection.
Installed October 2009.
The solar hot water system is
a 3 collector Guardian array on the
west-facing roof connected to a 120
gallon solar water heater with
SunEarth differential temperature
control that feeds the existing gas
fired water heater.
Installed March 2010.
Both systems installed by
Solar Services of Virginia Beach.
5S. McElroy Home
Features: solar hot water, PV
system, a green roof and a rainwater
Pre-heat temperature of the solar
hot water heater is 110F in the
winter, over 140F in the summer. The
panel system measures solar energy
captured by the system.
With the federal tax break,
the renewable energy certificate
(REC) and the offset of natural gas,
the system should pay for itself
within 7 years.
The PV system makes 3400 W at
peak sun and provides about 40% of
monthly electric needs. The system
should pay for itself within 11
The green roof should have a
lifetime of over 50 years and saves
about 20% of air-conditioning bill.
The 3000-gallon cistern collects an
estimated 80,000 gallons of
rainwater per year.
(More information at
6S. Fitts House
Features: passive solar design.
This home was designed in 1978 for
energy efficiency and focuses on
passive solar heating.
Large south-facing windows in
most rooms bring sunlight and solar
heat inside during winter months.
Fixed overhangs shade these
same windows in the summer months.
At night and on cloudy days,
insulated roller shades conserve
energy loss thru the glass.
The property was a naturally
landscaped garden prior to building
the home and very little was
disturbed to construct the home.
Since 1978, the heat pump HVAC
heating and cooling system has been
upgraded to a much more energy
The oil furnace has been replaced
with a Quietside 199,000BTU Gas Dual
purpose tank less water heater.
The unit supplies domestic hot water
and heat and is an on-demand unit
that only produces hot water when
used. Unit cost $4600. Yearly
fuel and maintenance
expenses were reduced from $1963 to
$60 (unit will pay for itself in
2.4yrs). Since unit was
installed average monthly gas bill
has increased by only $6.
8S. Norfolk Botanical Gardens
- There will be two tour times
for this site.
You will need to preregister
for this site on our website,
Come a bit early and show
your registration form at the gate
and you’ll be directed to park at
the Visitor’s Center.
You can then take the tram to
the sites within NBG.
The tram leaves promptly at
11AM and 1 PM.
The Norfolk Botanical Gardens has a
solar system powering the water
pumps at the Butterfly pavilion. The
panels generate power during the day
which directly runs the DC motors
for the pumps. Similar systems
are used in arid areas to pump well
water for irrigation or for
There is also a green roof
which was installed on the public
programs hut in the early spring of
9S. Good Home
- Features: PV system, solar hot
water heat to home and pool.
One of the first grid tied systems
using amorphous silicon panels made
by Solarex in Williamsburg before B.P. purchased them and
shut the plant down.
10S. Solar Services, Inc
– Features: Solar PV, Solar hot
water, Solar pool heating, High
efficiency heat pumps, Gray-water
The PV system provides “net zero”
electrical capability in this
There is a digital control
system in the office remote from the
system. A solar hot water system is
installed in the office with BTU
meter and digital control.
This solar hot water system
is the first in the country to be
registered for the sale of renewable
energy credits. For heating/cooling
high efficiency mini split heat pump
units were used. Recycled carpet and
low VOC paints were applied when we
finished out the building. We also
have a demonstration gray-water
recycling unit in the office and a
demonstration roof is set up in the
office to show a solar pool heating
11S. Kanz House
Features: Solar hot water, Solar
Having solar hot water saves 1/3 off
my gas bill and lowers my carbon
I have more hot water then I
have ever had.
The solar pool heat extends
my swimming season from April to
Because my swim season is
extended I get more pleasure from my
Features: Passive house, Solar PV,
Solar Hot Water, Rainwater cistern,
Atmospheric Drinking Water Generator
The passive solar house was designed
and built by Jim & Genny Jacobs in
1982 as part of a HUD competition.
The goal was to design a house which
any contractor, using conventional
materials, could build for under $40
per sq. ft.. Although the
competition was not won, the goal
was met (actual cost for the1388 sq.
ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, was
under $30/sq. ft. but Jim & Genny
supplied all the labor), providing a
comfortable, self-maintaining living
space for the past 29 years.
It uses conventional materials,
cinder block, wood flooring,
casement windows, arranged in a
slightly unconventional manner. All
windows are on the south side
(actually, there's one window on the
West side). There are no openings in
the north wall. Walls are built of
cinder block using "block bond"
surface bonding and filled with sand
for thermal mass. Insulation is on
the outside of the cinder block
walls, itself covered by
conventional vinyl siding. The roof
is white Ondura with sheet
insulation on the underside of the
roof rafters to vent and cool the
attic. Southern windows are shaded
during the summer by means of a
removable 80% shade cloth, supported
by an 8 ft. overhang extension of
the roof trusses. During the winter,
the shade cloth is removed, letting
light well into the house. Under
the windows are solar space heaters
(covered by tan awning material
during the summer) which, during the
winter, draw air under the insulated
floor from vents in the floor on the
north side of the house, setting up
a natural interior circulation
system during the day. Cooling
during the summer is provided by
shade trees, the white roof, heavy
insulation and a conventional
central air conditioner.
Jacobs House Continued
- 14 Canadian
Solar, 200W PV modules with Enphase
M215 microinverters, were recently
installed (by Suntern Solar
on the office / garage building
adjacent to the house, with extra
support rails for future expansion
and testing of new CyboInverters and
higher capacity modules in the
fall/winter of 2011. Current solar
electricity production averages
about 10 KWHr. per day (https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/mnVz25723
for real-time viewing).
The rainwater system collects water
from all the building gutters and
directs it through a series of
channels to a 2000 gal. cistern
which is used for watering plants
during dry spells. A second cistern
is planned for water to flush
Solar hot water
This site is a renovated 1940’s
house fitted with a solar hot water
system that provides radiant floor
heating as well as domestic hot
House – Features – PV,
Ground source heat pump
My 12 solar panels (photovoltaic)
are on a detached garage, since it
faces almost due south. The house is
about 20 years old with 2100 square
feet in the main house plus two
rooms on the attached garage.
Averaged over a year the panels
provide a little over 1/3 of my
total energy consumption, but in the
fall and spring, when no A/C or heat
is running, they provide almost all
the power I use. After 3 years
maintenance on the panels has been
almost nonexistent; the only problem
is that squirrels like to nest under
them. The main house is
heated/cooled by a ground source
heat pump, which also pre-heats the
Features – Solar hot water and pool
This home has a
30 year old solar one water heater
which is still chugging along after
all these years. He also has a solar
pool heating system installed over
10 years ago. The home was built
back in the 1970's so these units
Dulay House – Features: PV
This house features a solar electric
system installed in 2007. It
has 16 Kyocera Multicrystal panels
at 175 watts each mounted on the
garage with a Sunny Boy inverter.
To date they have generated over
14,000 kilowatt hours since
installation. I decided to
purchase a PV system to reduce my
electric bill and add to the value
of my house. The Federal tax
credit helped, too.
2011 Hampton Roads Solar Tour is
877 Seahawk Circle #101,
Royer Technical Services
news and information about
sustainable endeavors in Coastal
Virginia and beyond.