Solar Decathlon Homes Form Missouri Solar Village

Enough of the bad news in our previous articles that bring you up to date on the status of climate change. Back to the news on how we WILL address these issues.

What happens to all those fantastic student-built homes that compete in the Solar Decathlon? In Missouri, they’re being combined into the first Solar Village in the US. 

Students, faculty and staff at Missouri University of Science and Technology are completing the village, which groups together Solar Decathlon houses built between 2002-2009. 

OK, there are just four houses, but they give graduate students a place to live while they experiment with creating a microgrid.

Solar Village

Each home has a 5-10 kilowatt (kW) solar PV system – some thin-film, others crystalline silicon – and solar thermal for hot water. Energy is stored in two 100 kW lithium-ion iron nano-phosphate batteries, that combined with a fuel cell and heat recovery unit, form a microgrid.

They are using the village to test and research microgrid and  battery technologies as well as how to control loads, communicate between systems and utilities. 

Because of the expense, microgrids make the most sense in areas without grid access. They are at least double the price of a typical utility connection.

"Integrating renewables and energy storage into existing electrical grids and creating reliable, stand-alone, multiple-source systems are the two most important challenges in advancing our understand and adoption of non-fossil-fuel energy sources," says  Marc Lopata, President of Microgrid Solar, which implemented the project. "Research that Missouri S&T and its industry partners do with this versatile testing facility will help pave the way for significant progress toward energy security and independence."

The Solar Village is also a sustainable living demonstration site which hosts guided tours every weekday from 8am – 4pm.

Another Solar Decathlon home, Empowerhouse, one of the few in the US achieving passive house standards, is now a permanent residence in Washington, DC. 

Solar Decathlon 2015 will be held October 8-18, 2015, at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, and will also be held in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Find out where microgrids are in the US.

(Visited 6,586 times, 19 visits today)

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *