top of page
2 N. Alabama Green homes were featured along with a commercial site.  We met at each house/site to see up-close real houses using Green Energy - Solar PV for electricity & Solar Hot Water.

A Penny Saved
is a Penny Earned

FIRST Brandon insulated
his 50 year old house.

ASA     Solar     Tour    of    Homes       2017,      Oct 7




from previous tours -









on a


3.6K grid-tied, raised Solar Farm generates about 1/2 of the electricity he uses.

Solar Hot Water reduces his electric bill even more.

Brandon Hunt's house
SE Huntsville

Brandon is the ASA Treasurer.  See more about him on the Officers page. 

Brandon raised in solar farm in June of 2016 to avoid winter shade from his house on the
S most row of solar panels

Featured at his house is

  • a grid-tied Solar Farm (3.6 K & raised) in his backyard, built in 2012 Brandon says the Solar Farm generates about half of the electricity he uses. 

- 20 polycrystalline panels, brand name is "10K"

- max output - 3KW

- orange reflective "panels" opposite of solar panels to reflect indirect light

- payback in 8 years

- net cost (after grants & tax credit) $16,000 for everything including trellis.

- Inverter brand:  Sunergy

- TVA contract pays him a 12-cent premium (over retail) per Kw hour for 10 years, then the next 10 years he will be paid just retail

  • a solar hot water heater, installed in 2010

- brand Name:  Energy Labs Pro-Pac

- reduces over 60% of electricity compared to traditional electric hot water heater

- payback in 5-6 years

- cost $6,000

conventional electric resistance water heater as back-up

when sun isn't shining

  • a Solatube which functions as a Sky Light by day and LED hall light (motion-activated) by night (or in thick clouds)  It can concentrate & bend sunlight around construction obstacles in the attic

  • Brandon says these 2 solar energy systems & insulating his house has reduced his utility bill by over 40 %.

make solar ordinary label, Aqua letters

This is a commercial facility that produces 200,000 kWh / yr of electricity generated by almost 500 solar panels & then sells it to TVA.




from previous tours

Redstone Energy Park

This is a working live demonstration of 4 applications of solar arrays.

It is a commercial facility that makes money from solar power through a long term agreement with TVA  “Generation Partners Program”


It is located at the  NE corner of Memorial Pkwy & Airport Rd

generation capacity of 135 kW of power,
featured here is a commercial solar facility


4 applications of solar arrays

  1. Rooftop solar - demonstrated on the ground so you can walk around it
    15 kW total output

  2. Ground-mounted on rack in fixed angle - to maximize the absorption of the sun
    22 kW total output

  3. 12 Stem-mounted panels that tracks the sun - from morning until sunset & season to season
    There are 2 sensors for pointing the array in the optimal position directly facing the sun - 
    increase DC output at least 30%

    90 kW total output

  4. Parking lot cover with electric vehicle charging station - shading the car while it collects the sun & electric fuel pumps that charge your electric car while parked
    12.5 kW total output


  • total - almost 500 solar panels

  • 135 kW total panel output

  • TVA purchases the renewable energy at $0.12 per kWh

  • produces 200,000 kWh / yr      -  about $24,000. / yr 

. . . more   on   Tracking   Solar   Arrays

For maximum electricity output,
Tracking Solar Arrays track and move with the sun throughout the day (almost 180 degrees)
also track throughout the year with the straight up to southwardly located sun, (46 degrees from Summer to Winter Equinox). 


2-axis tracking increases the solar
output over 30%


Fixed Mounted,
24-31 degree
South facing .


These 2 photos were taken 55 minutes apart from each other from almost the same location.

Notice the difference in positions that the tracking arrays are pointing.

At 1:11p the arrays are all lined up with the Southwest sun, for optimal sunlight.

At 2:06p they are parallel with the ground.


Take a look at the difference in cloud coverage in the sky in the later photo. (Remnants of Hurricane Nat were coming in from the South.)  

During heavy clouds, they line up parallel with the ground for maximum indirect light.


NOTE - There are Active Tracking systems & Passive Tracking systems.  Passive do not have motors, which greatly reduce maintenance & use of electricity to power movement.


Steven Butler home

in Hazel Green, AL

Southern Solar Systems was the installer. 
Chris Shearburn of Southern Solar was present on the Tour to answer questions.

Warrenty Info on

Renogy Solar Panels

from Renogy website

current 25-year power output warranty for panels:

  •   5 year / 95% efficiency rate,

  • 10 year / 90% efficiency rate, 

  • 25-year / 80% efficiency rate.

5-year material and workmanship warranty

  • total capacity (peak) of solar farm is 10,725 watts
    - estimated to generate $120/mo average

  • grid-tied, TVA pays him for the electricity produced at retail rate   
    {Note:  TVA will do up to 50 Kw, no questions, will pay residential rate.}

  • cost was ~$2/Kw    {compared with a system with a battery backup. ~$3.80-4.00/Kw}

  • 33 Renogy RNG-325P Polycrystalline solar panels
    - each 325 watts, 79 in x 40 in
    - Renogy website list price on Oct 14 is $269.99 / panel

  • Rapid Rack mounting frame
    - Poles pounded into ground 4' (no concrete)
    - Base rail / insertion rail (connects panels)

  • 8.2 Kw Fronius Primo Inverter (~25% under power)

This solar farm was just completed & connected to Huntsville Utilities on Oct 6, 2017.

price of similar

Renogy Solar Panel

from Renogy website

as of Oct 14,2017

$269.99 / panel

bottom of page