Passive systems are simple, have few moving parts, and require minimal maintenance and require no mechanical systems. Operable windows, thermal mass, and thermal chimneys are common elements found in passive solar systems. Operable windows are simply windows that can be opened. Thermal mass refers to materials such as masonry and water that can store heat energy for an extended time and prevent rapid temperature fluctuations. Thermal chimneys create or reinforce the effect of hot air rising to induce air movement for cooling purposes.

Hybrid systems generally include a mixture of solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation.  Once a Solar PV system is installed, it generates essentially free intermittent power during the day.  However, it needs the support of other power generation sources to provide round the clock power. Solar thermal plants with thermal storage are clean sustainable power generation which can supply electricity round the clock.  The proper mix of solar thermal (with storage) and solar PV can fully match the load fluctuations without the need for costly battery storage.

John Archibald, Founder, and CEO – American Solar Renewable Energy from Dynamic Building Envelopes

When: Friday, April 20, 2018 from 11am-2:30pm EST


Johnson Center, Room 334

Meeting Room E
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030​ 

The amount of energy the sun sends towards our planet is 35,000 times more than what we currently produce and consume. This energy can be harnessed for practical purposes in a variety of ways.  Our panel includes a select group of experts who will discuss advances in Solar Thermal, Passive Solar, and Hybrid Systems technologies that are very relevant today.

Solar Thermal is a form of energy and a technology for harnessing solar energy to generate thermal energy or electrical energy for use in industry, and in the residential and commercial sectors.  The United States Energy Information Administration classifies solar thermal collectors as low-, medium-, or high-temperature. Low-temperature collectors are generally used to heat swimming pools or to heat ventilation air. Medium-temperature collectors are used for heating water or air for residential and commercial use. High-temperature collectors concentrate sunlight using mirrors or lenses and are generally used for fulfilling heat requirements in industry or for electric power production.

​Passive solar refers to the use of the sun’s energy for the heating and cooling of living spaces. In this approach, the building itself or some element of it takes advantage of natural energy characteristics in materials and air created by exposure to the sun. 

Albert Nunez has more than 35 years of technical experience in the solar energy and energy/water conservation/efficiency field. A co-founder of Capital Sun Group in January 1997, he is a director and chief project leader for hybrid solar thermal and PV power system design and integration. He has held leadership positions in national and regional solar energy organizations and won numerous awards and holds several patents.   In 2017, one of Nunez’s hybrid solar source heat pump projects, The Enser - Morris Hybrid PV/T HP System, was selected as the Association of Energy Engineers 2017 International Innovative Energy Project of the Year.  

Scott Sklar, President – The Stella Group, Ltd.
Utility-Scale Concentrating Solar Power - 24 Hour Solar



11:00 – 11:30

Lunch and Chapter Announcements  11:30 – Noon

Panel Presentations and Discussion Noon – 1:45


1:45 – 2:30

Kevin Chisholm, Principal – Mid-Atlantic Energy Consultants

Solar Energy Geo-Storage for Renewable Heating

Mr. Archibald has over 20 years of experience in the private and Federal sectors, in engineering, and project and program management. He directed the Office of Federal Energy Management Programs within the U.S. Department of Energy from 1996 to 1999. As Director, he helped governmental agencies reduce their $8 billion annual energy bill. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American and International Solar Energy Societies, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree. The U.S. Energy Association and Johnson Controls awarded him the Public Service Energy Leadership Award. He also received the Exceptional Service Medal from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Scheduled Speakers and Presentations

Friday, April 20: Projects and Advances in Solar Thermal, Passive Solar, and Hybrid Systems 

Albert Nunez, Vice President – Capital Sun Group
Photovoltaic / Solar Thermal Heat Pump Systems Design

Event Mapsv​

Scott Sklar is President of The Stella Group, Ltd., a technology and policy firm for clean energy. Prior to running The Stella Group, Ltd, he served as Executive Director the Solar Energy Industries Association, and as Political Director of the Solar Lobby.  Scott served for nine years as an aide to Senator Jacob K Javits (NY) and was a co-founder of the Congressional Solar Coalition. He is Chair of the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Energy Coalition and serves on the board several non-profits.   Sklar was appointed to National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy & Technology of USEPA in addition to the Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee where he is currently Vice Chairman. Sklar is an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University teaching interdisciplinary sustainable energy courses.  

Kevin has 40 years of experience as an engineer and consultant.  His service to government and the private sector has been in environmental and energy engineering.  Mr. Chisholm has extensive practical experience in projects involving hydrogeology and HVAC and energy engineering.  He has led efforts to improve the performance of Virginia first large building heated and cooled with ground source heat pumps.  Having commissioned many buildings, Kevin is very knowledgeable in solving highly complex challenges in building systems.  Mr. Chisholm is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has done graduate coursework at Virginia Tech and George Washington University.