As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media.

Solar on the Line

Solar power plant

Solar on the Line explored the innovation and technology behind solar power as a renewable energy resource and presented multiple views on the potential benefits and challenges of this technology. This display introduced visitors to the history of solar energy use in the U.S. both as part of the electrical grid as well as an off-grid supplement. Two solar panels were on display, one from the Carter White House, which the president installed to heat water in 1979, and the other a recent acquisition from the California Million Solar Roof Initiative. Supporting technology on view included a 2016 bi-directional electric meter, solar electric inverter, and solar controller panel to help visitors understand how solar panels work.

Solar on the Line display