You expect to see solar energy applications, roof trusses and insulation techniques displayed at a national convention of home builders. But wine racks storage vaults are a surprise.

As an indication that wine has become a near-staple on the dining tables in American homes, Viking Sauna displayed a section of wood wine racks with a cooling device that could be set up in a 7x4-foot space. Prices begin about $1,500. Exhibitors said that sales have increased 74 per cent in the past year.

Another product of trend-tracking on display here was the new Gard Site burglar alarm system introduced by Casady Engineering of Torrance, Calif. Billed as the nation's first radar-operated intruder detection system, the unit resembles a stereo player. But it detects any movement in a key area of an unprotected house when residents are absent and sends out a shrill alarm to scare off intruders. The system is not activated by small household pets and it is designed for single houses and apartments. Also shown was a "jimmy-proof" door lock.

Another eye-catcher among the 500 products displayed here was a selection of electric fans, including a modish "ceiling fans" that resembles those that often were seen in the saloons of yesteryear. A sales person said the electrically operated ceiling fans are "selling by the carload."