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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off church "cover" school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Oct. 4 & 5, Royal: Blount County Solar Homes Tour

2014 Blount County Solar Homes Tour
Saturday, October 4  & 
Sunday October 5

This year's Blount County Solar Homes Tour in the community of Royal, Alabama is 4 homes, all within 10 minutes of each other. You can visit as many as you like but you do have to register and receive a schedule and map. Each home tour begins on the hour. There is a 2 hour networking brown-bag lunch on Saturday including a showing of the energy-saving video Kilowatt Ours.

The tour times start every hour on the hour at:
~ 9, 10 & 11 am Saturday;
~ 12 - 2 pm Networking lunch & video - Saturday only;
~ 2, 3 & 4 pm Saturday;
~ 1, 2, 3, and 4 pm Sunday.

The tours of each home will be relatively short (30 minutes) with remaining time for questions and traveling to the next house.

The Networking Lunch is designed for more detailed discussions. It's a brown-bag lunch in the backyard of the Dodeca-Yurt. We will provide lemonade and water. The 25-minute video Kilowatt Ours will be shown at 1 pm.

To Register: email our registrar Maria at solartouralabama@gmail.com
 ~ tell us how many adults and kids are in your party
~ choose your starting time
~ choose your list of homes
~ tell us how many will attend the Networking Lunch
We will send you a Registration Receipt that has:
 ~ a schedule of homes and directions to the first home.
     We will try to honor your order of homes but capacities many require some changes
~ directions to your next home will be available at each home you visit.

Please tell us if your plans change! Maria's e-mail and phone numbers will be on the Registration Receipt.

Attached is the Solar Homes Tour Guide with a brief description of the homes on tour.

Please share this information with friends or family. Hope you can join us.

2014 Blount County Solar Homes Tour Royal Alabama  

Retro-Fit House *
This 1950's ranch style house has been extensively retrofitted to achieve solar power and energy efficiency.
~Geothermal ground source heat pump for heating and cooling
~5.7 kW photovoltaic array, grid tied with battery backup
~Foam insulation pumped into exterior walls
~Air tight fireplace insert with outside air supply
~Wood stove heat is circulated by the HVAC sys.
~  High efficiency windows with insulating blinds
~Composite material used on house decks
~LED lights in kitchen
~Energy Star appliances and Energy Star rated metal roof
~Rainwater catchment for garden irrigation
~Vermi (worms) and thermal composting
~Alabamas only solar powered dog grooming and boarding facility

Clerestory House *
~Passive solar design w/solar walk-in basement
~Clerestory for solar gain and daylighting
~Cupola with exhaust fan and large screened porches for ventilation
~Compact well-insulated central living area
~Solar chimney for porch ventilation
~DIY double & triple glazed low-e windows
~Infrared-reflective insulation on ceilings
~Stand-alone 3.5 kW solar PV system, grid back-up and can sell back to grid if/when feasible
~Drain-back Solar Water Heating System for hot water and radiant heat in basement
~Solar hot water collectors located above solar array facilitates snow removal
~Super-efficient Mini-split Heat Pump and ceiling fans
~Energy efficient appliances and LED lighting
~Rainwater catchment with downspout filter
~Residence of NABCEP Certified Solar PV Installation Professional

Straw Bale House
~Straw bale walls covered with stucco, straw bale ceiling insulation.
~South facing super-insulated windows for solar gain and light.
~Sun room.
~Wood stove for back-up heating .
~Solar powered 1 ton air conditioner.
~Photovoltaic electricity, 4.2 kW off-the-grid, no backup (generator or power grid).
~Water heated with excess electricity.
~Energy star  appliances and LED lights.
~Owner built super-efficient refrigerator and freezer inside an insulated cold room.

~12 sided house around original yurt
~Off-the-grid 2.3 kilowatt solar with batteries.
~Solar hot water w/ propane tankless back-up
~Passive solar design (needs thermal mass)
~Central cupola for daylighting and ventilation  
~Large eaves and east & west shading
~Grapevines for summer shading
~Energy efficient appliances and lighting
~Shiitake mushrooms, vermiculture,

  • The Retro-Fit House and the Clerestory House have entrance ramps for wheelchair access

2014 Blount County Solar Homes Tour - Royal, Alabama

Concepts Behind What We Do
Meeting Human Needs:
Water (rainwater catchment)
Food production (organic gardens, poultry)
Shelter (including heating and cooling)
Power production

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle: It is much easier to save energy and resources than to produce them.

Technologies You Will See
Passive Solar Designs that:
Capture the Winter Sun with south facing windows
Store the warmth of the day in thermal mass and release it through the evening
Shade the Summer Sun from entering the homes
Remove heat and humidity through high ventilation
Stabilize interior temperatures through contact with the earth

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems that generate Electricity
Solar PV modules and arrays that generate DC electricity
Charge Controllers that regulate the power to the batteries
Batteries that store the energy
Inverters that change the battery power to standard 120 Volts 60 Hz AC
Displays for system monitoring and control

DrainBack Solar Water Heating Systems
Roof mounted Solar Water Heating Collectors along with plumbing sloped to drain
10 - 15 gallon DrainBack tank in warmed area to store water from collector loop
Heat exchanger to transfer heat from collector loop to storage loop
80 - 120 gallon Storage Tank to store hot water for domestic use
Tempering valves, pumps and controls

Efficient Appliances:
Solar ovens Solar food dehydrators
Super efficient refrigeration Ground source heat pumps
Mini-split heat pumps LED lighting

Rain Water
Catchment,  Filtering,  Storage,  Purification