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Solar Home Washington State

Minnesota Miles visits the Solar House

Hi! I'm Minnesota Miles, and welcome to the University of Minnesota's Solar House. The Solar House is equipped with solar panels across the roof. They provide energy to all aspects of the house like the oven, electricity and water heating. The other awesome thing about the house is that it's set up like any other suburban home. You've got the deck, the grass and all you're missing is the white picket fence! One important aspect of the design of the Solar House is its icon shape. Icon, meaning iconic as in if you were to ask a child what a house looked like,.

He or she would draw something that looks similar to this.unless the child were an Eskimo. Students from colleges across the University contributed to the project. Architecture students helped design the overall look and feel of the house. Institute of Technology students brought their expertise in engineering systems to make it a fully functional house. College of Continuing Education students in Construction Management are working handson with the building and construction. Now the students will take the Solar House to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Solar Decathlon against twenty other colleges.

Solar House is taking shape

Well, we're building a house for a competition in Washington D.C., involves 20 colleges from around the world, 800 square feet, we're building it in modules because it needs to be transported to the national mall for a contest in Washington D.C. in October. This project has been a tremendous experience, I kind of got into it through my advisor because I'm in the Solar Energy Lab, and it's just been this phenomenal experience, I've learned so much about home construction and architecture and how we incorporate that into engineering. It's been a fantastic learning experience.

It's been kind of crazy, earlier on we took a little bit more relaxed approach to it, inviting everyone into design sessions, into discussions about what the concept should be. As we get closer and closer to the end, right know we're six months off, we're kind of in frantic mode where we're doing both construction and fixing up drawings, and dealing with communication stuff, so our team is really, really busy. I think what we're trying to do is just, essentially raise awareness about all the things that people can do to have a house that might be a solution to some of the problems we're facing,.

So when we build a solar house we're really trying to use all the technology we can, and showcase it in ways that maybe the public can see and understand how they might be able to implement it in the same way or possibly in an entirely different way. That's the whole idea of this type of house, we're using for the most part very conventional building materials, 2x4 stick construction, we're just modifying it to make it more structurally sound, besides the fact that it's also allowing it to contain more insulation to improve the R values.

We've essentially tried to incorporate solar thermal technology in a way that gives us the most performance possible. We have panels on our south wall which may be slightly atypical, but when we get low sunlight in the winter and the sun stays near the horizon, we get exceedingly high output out of those solar panels, just as high as for instance we do out of the roof panels in summer. Here's a real life, practical application of design, engineering and architecture, construction that these students that they wouldn't have had an opportunity to work.

On this had it not been for this project, so it's really high value for many reasons and it's been really inspirational to work with these students. I just can't believe how much energy they've given to the project. Earlier on we've had problems communicating across the table, you work in different disciplines, you have different fields and there's a different set of language that you establish. And so it took us a while to understand where each other came from and what we were trying to communicate, but I think our team is far enough now along.

That we're doing really well in terms of communication. I almost get teary eyed when I talk about this, look I did. The students are so amazing, the engineering students and the architecture students, the construction students, the interior students, the graphic students, they've all just totally risen to the occasion, and they are so committed, so smart, so strategic, so. just in there to be on the team and do whatever it takes. It's got me really pumped about the future of this business and when I eventually get done.

Commercial Solar Installation as an Investment in Washington State

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Natural Fusion, Penn States Solar Decathlon Team 2009

Penn State students are creating a sustainable and sensible living environment That's right now, In Motion Soemthing like this You can own it. You can do this. I'm hoping that we can present a home that we're all proud of The big, immediate impact, the overall goal of this project, is to show the public, and to show the people of the United States and the world, that solar is real, and it can exist right now today, and for us, we were trying to show that it can be affordable as well.

What we really wanna show is that these houses are not some technological oneoff freakshow, we really want it to be something the people can understand and get a feel for, walk in and say, Well this doesn't seem space age or, This doesn't seem like I'm making a huge sacrifice in my life to be able to live a sustainable way that, This is something that I could do, and do comfortably A dynamic group of students representing a variety of colleges and majors are working throughout the summer constructing Penn State's Natural Fusion Home.

Utilizing renewable energies and green technologies to create an economically practical and functional product Taking on an enterprise of this size starts with collaboration, and for this mission, teamwork is the foundation It's not about design versus communications versus engineering, it's about what we can do to have this integration such that the home is presented in a way that makes sense The main area we're gaining in is the education of this project, not just what we're doing, but the fact that we're learning about solar systems and mechanical systems,.

I'm learning how to do structural systems, That's a great experience, you learn a lot about that, but the biggest thing that we learn that most students don't get to learn, is working as a team, working with other people to really accomplish a project of this magnitude The engineers also have the logic for their systems, and then the desing has their logic on how it needs to be presented, So it's very different in terms of how you learn to communicate besides with the skills that you learn in the classroom of,.

This is a drawing, this is a line, this is a perspective It's now How do you communicate that idea to somebody else who needs to work with you Ultimately, the team will present their finished home on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. at this year's Solar Decatalon Competition in October Penn State is one of twenty colleges and universities invited to this year's contest I hope we do really well in the competition, I think we're one of the top contenders right now, we'll see how that pans out.

Inside the White House Solar Panels

Cheery melody of bells and strings Secretary Moniz Solar panels on the White House I think are a really important message that solar is here. We are doing it. We can do a lot more. I am very bullish on the future of solar energy as a key part of our clean energy future. James Doherty The size of the array that we established here is the typical size for the average American house. Being at the White House, we do have some security concerns. We can't cover the entire roof with panels,.

Though that would be good from an energysaving standpoint. Laughter. Cyrus Wadia Everything from the solar components to the inverter technologies to the labor that put the panels on the roof was all America. Domestic source, domestic maintenance. It serves as a symbol that America technology in solar is available, it's reliable, and it's ready for millions of Americans across the country. James Doherty So the first thing what we did was we drilled down into the concrete and then basically epoxied a series of threaded rods back up through the baton tops.

We then were able to install a series of grids for a subassembly upon which the solar panels could then be secured. Secretary Moniz Clean energy revolution is not something for the distant future. It's happening right now and we want to capture that. Cyrus Wadia Every four minutes, some small business or home owner is going solar. In a sense, we're going through a transition here and the industry is going through a transition that we're just seeing the beginning of. Minh Le The President is basically doing what Americans.

All across the nation are doing right now. They're making the conscious choice to look for renewable energy like solar as the cheaper, cleaner, and preferred energy source for their homes and families. Cyrus Wadia You know, we need to diversify the clean energy portfolio as articulated in the President's Climate Action Plan, which we are actively engaged in now. And we also need to spur the economic sectors of the future. Last year alone we created over 23,000 new jobs in solar energy. James Doherty Obviously the more that we can install.

Team Floridas Solar Decathlon 2011 Tutorial Walkthrough

Flex House is a grid connected balanced energy prototype designed for Florida's hot, humid climate. The main body will be prefabricated and shipped in one piece. The modular design allows for easy transport and deployment on any site. Elongated on its east west axis to facilitate shading, the design incorporates an umbrella structure covered with local, insect and weather resistant cypress louvers that cut down on direct heat gain in Florida's hot southern climate while allowing indirect light to penetrate and provide daylighting. Photovoltaic panels provide all of Flex House's energy needs.

Corrugated metal siding follows vernacular tradition and lends durability to the design. The modern appeal of the open floor plan and multifunction design elements combined with energy efficiency means that Flex House is ideal for a young, active, environmentally conscious couple with a moderate household income. The design incorporates a number of energy efficient features in a compact space. Energy Star appliances throughout conserve energy, Lowflow fixtures save on water, a small refrigerator cuts down on food waste, and hot water is provided by a highly efficient solar thermal system. Intelligent design and furnishings that perform double duty allows for multiple uses of space.

And maximizes the limited square footage. The kitchen island is actually a table that can function as a work surface or adjust to be used for more formal dining. Telescoping glass doors along the north face allow for natural light, while reflective surfaces reflect light deeper into the house and enhance daylighting. LED and compact fluorescents minimize energy consumption when natural lighting isn't available. Multiple settings allow for mood adjustments ensuring occupant comfort. The telescoping doors also open to a large exterior deck, allowing for cross ventilation during Florida's cooler months, and effectively merging the interior and exterior spaces.

A high efficiency HVAC system picks up where passive cooling leaves off. The liquid desiccant system dehumidifies incoming air to reduce the cooling load while also functioning as a design amenity, adding to the modern feel of the home. A userfriendly touch screen controls the building management system which monitors and controls all of Flex Houses mechanical and electrical systems. Doors separate the bedroom, bath and office into a private suite. The office area includes a convenient work space and loft area which can accommodate an overnight guest, or serve as storage.

SCIArcCaltechs Solar Decathlon 2011 Tutorial Walkthrough

Ever wonder why, when you ask a kid to draw a house, they all draw the same thing Solar Decathlon was a chance for SCIArc and Caltech to build their version of a California Solar Home. Homes are responsible for almost a quarter of total energy consumption in the U.S., but that number can be way lower. Our house, named CHIP, stands for Compact HyperInsulated Prototype. We're excited to show it to you. One of the most innovative features of the house is the soft exterior. The exterior is an expression of energy conservation.

Normally insulation is installed on the interior of a home, but we wrap it around the exterior and cover it with a durable vinyl skin. That gives CHIP its unique puffy appearance. Although it's never been quite done like this before, the house is better insulated..and cheaper to build, since vinyl can be attached in a single day compared to multiple days with traditional methods. Solar homes have to be oriented to take advantage of the sun's path. You don't need to be an engineer to figure that out. But it helps.

And there's plenty of sun in California. Just what we need to power our entire house. The first thing you notice about CHIP when you walk inside is the large open area that uses level changes instead of partitions to divide the space. Two large windows on either end let in tons of natural light. When both of these are open, cooler air enters the house through the lower windows and hot air escapes the house through the upper windows. When the windows are closed, fresh air is provided by an intelligent ventilation system.

A 120gallon water tank stores wasted heat from the air conditioner. We use it to preheat hot water and save electricity in both systems. Simple and innovative rainwater and greywater systems improve water conservation. Through a custom iPAD app, you can track home energy use and also use it to control lights and appliances. There is also an energysaving button that turns off all nonessential energy use when you leave CHIP. We programmed the XBox Kinect so you can point at lights to turn them on and off. Showoff. Putting the insulation outside the structural walls allowed us to expose the framing inside.

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