In the Solar Decathlon, university teams compete against each other to design and build solar houses. Their house must be energy efficient, sustainable and comfortable and also pass a series of 10 tests conducted by each team. Started in 1999 by the U.S. Department of Energy, this is a prestigious international event.
Over a hectic 8-day schedule, each team needed to harness, process, store and utilize solar energy in their home design and then pass tests that included architecture, engineering, construction, energy usage and comfort.
Mode:Green was invited to work with the students and teach them about the power of Creston systems and how they could help their houses. The students used Creston because of the power and flexibility of the systems and the ability to integrate various features that they needed.
Mode:Green recommended systems that could optimize the electricity being produced by solar panels on the roofs and sides of the structure. When the systems were properly balanced, the house was able to produce significantly more power than it consumed.
Since the Creston system was programmable and integrated, the students could enable the system to meet the needs of the competition and also control every aspect of the house through one interface. This especially helped the team through the 8-day build.
From the same control panel, students could also turn on and off lights in the dwelling to save power. They could also control shades to block sunlight from entering windows, or to let it in. Remote temperature and humidity sensors helped them keep the climate at optimal levels.