The Association for Applied Solar Energy, 1955 (gallery)

In 1955, solar energy advocates formed the Association for Applied Solar Energy, based in Phoenix, which held a conference and exposition on “The Sun at Work,” with devices and experiments from around the world.

In 1957, the Association held a competition to design a solar house. The winning design, made by Peter Lee, had panels that rotated with the sun to maximize solar radiation throughout the day, and stored heat in the covered swimming pool. As with many of these 1950s experiments, the mechanics of the project didn’t work very well. In this particular case, the building contractors installed a motor that was too weak to rotate the panels. After a few months, the demonstration house was sold to a retiring couple who removed the solar heating system.


“The Sun at Work” exposition at the World Symposium on Applied Solar Energy, 1955, and Peter Lee, Association for Applied Solar Energy Solar House, Phoenix, AZ, 1958.

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