Doug and Jennie Ostgaard, DIY Solar Power Experts – Biographies – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Doug and Jennie Ostgaard, DIY Solar Power Experts

Name: Doug and Jennie Ostgaard

Occupation: Authors

Place of Residence: Bonney Lake, Washington

Background and Personal History: Doug Ostgaard has a MSME from the University of Washington and is a registered Professional Engineer. He has over 44 years engineering experience working for the Boeing Company and the FAA. He has many awards for his engineering expertise. He helped solve several critical structural test failures on the space station and airplanes over the years as a structures trouble shooter. He was selected by Boeing for technical fellowship as 2008 Inventor of the Year award for his B787 (Dreamliner) E-Fixture patent. While at the FAA, he was involved in investigating the A320 airplane ditching in the Hudson River. He was awarded a place of honor in the Wall of Fame in his former high school for helping future engineering students by giving tours of his uniquely designed passive solar, energy-efficient home and tours of the Boeing Company.

Jennie Ostgaard has a Bachelor’s in Computer Technology. She has over 25 years’ experience working at the Boeing Company in the engineering technical field.

Together, Jennie and Doug designed and built their home as do-it-yourselfers, incorporating passive and active solar heating, super insulation, two air-to air heat exchangers, a heat pump, and external-air-sourced wood heater. In the past two years, they’ve built an 8,000-watt photovoltaic solar power system for off-grid and on-grid use, which they write about in their book DIY Photovoltaic Solar Power for Homeowners

Jennie and Doug’s 4,500-square-foot home uses passive solar designs in the atrium, which includes an indoor swimming pool utilizing 90,000-BTU/hr. powered by solar panels. The 1,800-gallon swimming pool (a DIY project) has internally built heat exchanger systems to preheat water tanks and provide warm water supply to the bathrooms. The pool has a uniquely designed automated cover which covers/uncovers the pool with the flip of a switch. The atrium/pool room also has a uniquely designed ventilation system to dissipate heat and room moisture.

The home is basically electrical-energy-neutral and earns money due to state incentives.

Current Projects: Doug and Jennie have recently written DIY Photovoltaic Solar Power for Homeowners and are currently writing a book entitled DIY Solar Water Heating for the Homeowner.

Other Fun Facts: Doug grew his love of DIY engineering while growing up on cranberry farm in the Pacific Northwest. As the eldest son, he and his father innovatively built needed tools for the farm. When Doug was 14, he and his father (along with help from the younger children) designed and built their family home in Ilwaco, Washington.

Doug and Jennie have a goal of keeping the earth “green” and healthy through using renewable resources that don’t tax the environment. Jennie cans and preserves much of their food and has an eye on the Amish way of doing things — i.e. hanging wet laundry in the summer sun to dry and baking fresh bread with home-ground organic whole wheat. They have an organic garden and are learning how to capture/preserve their organic seeds.

Finally, Doug and Jennie have designed and built various Faraday cages for protection from possible solar storms and/or EMP’s.

More Places to Find Doug and Jennie on the Web:

Ostgaard Resources