Friday, July 9, 2010

Old Orchard Beach

We spent the past half week in Old Orchard Beach, Maine (US), in the Crest Motel. It's a great place! The rooms are clean, the beach is right outside, and it's a short walk to Palace Playland. They have an indoor pool & hot tub, and I'm happy to report that they do not discriminate against kids. The whole area is very family friendly, and the kids had a blast!

But what I loved most was... while we were staying there, they happened to be installing Solar hot water panels! At first we saw random holes drilled in the floor and ceiling, which made all of us very curious. Then the next day these were filled in with insulated pipes. Finally, this morning, we saw the solar panels themselves, being carried up and installed on the roof. The location is excellent -- they have a large roof, and no tall trees anywhere nearby. It looked like a high capacity installation, maybe ~250 square feet. They expect to fully generate all hot water in the summer, and also a sizable portion of the (air) heat in the winter.

I have a small (600W nominal, off-grid) solar electric installation in my house, self-installed. In the summer, it easily offsets the electricity used by our home theater. I involved the kids all throughout the installation, to teach them how important it is to find renewable sources for everything. And whenever they or their friends watch movies, I remind them that it's all powered by sunshine electricity, which of course leads to a great curious discussion and more teachable moments.

So I took this chance to (again) hammer home this vital lesson. And, I'm very happy to see that others are adopting Solar energy!


  1. Yours is definitely an encouraging story. Most people won't go into renewable energy (much less teach their kids about it) because it's quite costly at the current state of the technology. I hope more and more people follow your example.

  2. I had another great teachable moment just yesterday, when we went apple picking at Cider Hill Farm (, where they have an amazing number of solar electric (photovoltaic) panels installed all over the place. Plus a bunch of wind turbines! Made for great conversation as we hunted for the best apples to pick.

  3. The best think we can do as adults is to drive are children to eco technologies, hopefully that way they can do what we as a society have fail to do for the last 10 years.

  4. At my children's school they have some small solar panels and a wind turbine. So they promote renewable energy to the pupils through that. They also have a green week in which they learn lots of things. This was such a amazing week my son told me to change to bio washing powder so you can wash at 30 degrees :)