Mass/Central America: Western New England University, Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, and Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana
Western New England University, Universidad Tecnologica de Panama, and Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana teamed up for their first U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon to create the EASI House, a modular house designed for the climate of New England. The 680-ft2, two-bedroom, single-bathroom house is designed to be affordable for an average two-person family. Its modular nature enables it be easily relocated, and its solar PV system will provide 100% of its power requirements.
EASI House's primary goal is to be as affordable as possible without sacrificing comfort. This makes EASI House a viable housing option to a large portion of the population. The design is simplistic to make the house as affordable as possible. The minimalist design also allows homeowners to mold the house to their preferences.
- The modular nature of the house enables it to be loaded onto a truck and transported in one piece, reducing assembly time and cost.
- The single-direction roof slant decreases the angle between the solar panels and the roof while maintaining optimal sunlight and reducing wind and snow impacts.
- Anchors around the foundation stabilize the structure against wind, earthquakes, and other horizontal forces.
- A 5-kW solar electric system of 20 250-W roof-mounted panels supplies the house with all its power.
- Water heating is supplied by an 11-kW tankless water heater that heats on-demand to decrease the electricity load.
- A 9,000-Btu/h, 1-kW ductless heating and cooling system is centrally located to provide maximum comfort throughout the house but can be moved during extreme weather conditions for increased comfort in individual areas.
EASI House is intended for a small family of two or three or, possibly, two single people. Its affordable design makes it ideal for a young couple just starting out.
After the competition, the EASI House is expected to return to Western New England University, where it will take up permanent residence somewhere on campus and inspire future Solar Decathlon teams.
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