All Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., including the National Zoo, and in New York City continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
3rd Floor, Artifact Walls Floor Plan
Solar on the Line explores the innovation and technology behind solar power as a renewable energy resource. It introduces visitors to the history of solar energy use in the U.S. as well as how it is both a part of the electrical grid as well as an off-grid supplement. The museum presents multiple views on the potential benefits and challenges of this technology. Two solar panels are on display, one from the Carter White House, which the President installed to heat hot water in 1979, and the other a recent acquisition from the California Million Solar Roof Initiative. Also on view is supporting technology including a 2016 bi-directional electric meter, solar electric inverter and solar controller panel which helps visitors understand how solar panels work.