Solar Energy Goes Primetime

Solar power in action in the home in Maryland and Virginia is the focus of a series of television programs set to air nationwide in March on Home & Garden TV’s companion channel, the Do-It-Yourself Network. The series, called Solar Solutions, is a follow-up to the Solar Decathlon competition held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in September.

Columbia, Maryland – March 4, 2003 [] Each show highlights parts of the Solar Decathlon and how the technology college students displayed in the U.S. Department of Energy contest can be applied in homes today. Each program also features a local homeowner installing a solar project. From a solar-powered garden fountain to a complete off-grid solar home, each program demonstrates how to properly plan, research and install solar projects. In this Solar Solutions series, Jeff Gilbert of Chesapeake Wind & Solar of Columbia, Maryland and Mike Howell of Atlantic Solar Products in Baltimore, Maryland guide each do-it-yourselfer through a solar-based home improvement project. They show each homeowner how to properly design and size a solar system and how to safely work with solar power. “I have a real passion for solar energy, and watching my client’s eyes light up when they see their system work for the first time is always a thrill,” said Gilbert, a mechanical engineer with nearly a decade of experience in Renewable Energy systems design and installation. He also leads local seminars and workshops on Renewable Energy and energy efficiency in the greater Washington, D.C. area. The five do-it-yourself projects featured in the series included the installation of a solar pond fountain, a solar attic fan, a solar powered shed lighting and power system, a residential solar thermal hot water heating system, and a residential off-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) system. “The projects span a wide range of difficulty and cost. Several of the projects could easily be completed by a beginner do-it-yourselfer with only a few hundred dollars,” said series writer and producer Pete Couste’ of Rockville-based Horizon Entertainment which was commissioned to produce the series for the DIY Network The Solar Solutions workshop series is set to premiere on the DIY Network channel on March 17 through March 21 at 8am and 10pm. A one-hour documentary-style program chronicling the Solar decathlon contest is set to air one week earlier on March 9 at 6pm. Homes and homeowners appearing in the video series are from Bethesda, Glen Burnie, and New Market, Maryland, as well as Berryville, Lovettsville, McLean and Purceville, Virginia.
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