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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

Solar Decathlon Blog - Norwich

Below you will find Solar Decathlon news from the Norwich archive, sorted by date.

Technology Spotlight: Energy-Recovery Ventilation Systems

Monday, August 18, 2014

By Alexis Powers and Carol Laurie

Editor’s Note: This post is one of a series of technology spotlights that introduces common technologies used in U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon team houses.

Good ventilation is vital for maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Houses built to modern energy efficiency standards, such as U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition houses, are tightly constructed to allow very little outside air to leak in. As a result, odors, chemicals, particles, and humidity can become trapped, increasing indoor air pollution.

Energy-recovery ventilation systems provide tightly constructed houses with fresh air while minimizing energy loss. These systems rely on heat exchangers to efficiently transfer heat between indoor and outdoor air supplies. There are two types of energy-recovery ventilation systems: heat-recovery ventilators (HRVs) and energy-recovery (or enthalpy-recovery) ventilators (ERVs). An HRV uses fans to pull fresh air into a house while simultaneously exhausting stale air. In the winter, the heat exchanger transfers heat energy from the warmer outgoing air to the cooler incoming air to reduce the need for heating. In the summer, the system reduces the need to cool incoming fresh air by sending the cooler exhaust air past the warm intake stream. An ERV goes one step further by controlling indoor humidity as well as temperature. An ERV transfers water vapor along with heat energy to keep the interior humidity constant.

These ventilation systems can recover 70%–80% of the energy from a house’s outgoing air supply to help maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

Photo of a box-shaped energy recovery ventilator inside a mechanical closet.

Team Ontario used this energy recovery ventilator in its “ECHO” house. Energy recovery ventilation systems help maintain a comfortable indoor environment by recovering 70%–80% of the energy from the outgoing air supply. Credit: Carol Laurie, U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Several Solar Decathlon 2013 teams incorporated energy recovery ventilation technologies into their competition houses. Norwich University provided continuous ventilation of its “Delta T-90” house by using a multiunit HRV system that was 92% efficient, ductless, and whisper-quiet. Team Ontario (Queen’s University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College), which received first place in the Solar Decathlon 2013 Engineering Contest, used an ERV in its “ECHO” house to dramatically reduce the energy needed to condition indoor air.

Photo of the exterior of a modern house.

Norwich University used a multiunit HRV system that provided continuous ventilation in its Solar Decathlon 2013 “Delta T-90” house. Credit: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Visit the Energy Savers website to learn more about energy-efficient ventilation systems.

Alexis Powers and Carol Laurie are members of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon communications team.

 

 

 

Norwich University Receives Byron Stafford Award of Distinction

Monday, October 28, 2013

By Solar Decathlon

The Norwich University Solar Decathlon 2013 team received the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 Victory Reception on Oct. 12.Presented by Solar Decathlon Director Richard King’s wife, Melissa, the award is a tribute to Byron Stafford, who served as the event’s site operations manager from the first Solar Decathlon in 2002 until his death in May. A National Renewable Energy Laboratory senior scientist, Stafford was instrumental in formulating the competition rules and was dedicated to ensuring a safe competition and public exhibit. In 2009, his team installed the first Solar Decathlon village microgrid to distribute energy safely and reliably among the competition houses and to the utility grid.

Photo of Vivian Stafford shaking the hand of a Norwich University student at a reception.

Byron Stafford’s wife, Vivian, congratulates a Norwich University decathlete for the team’s receipt of the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction. (Credit: Melissa King/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

“Because of his amazing contributions to the Solar Decathlon, we remember Byron in words and deed,” said Melissa King. “Tonight, I want to recognize a team of decathletes that personifies all of Byron’s greatest qualities.”

She then announced Norwich University, creator of the Delta T-90 House, as the Solar Decathlon 2013 recipient of the Byron Stafford Award of Distinction for being “honest, caring, humble, intelligent, fair, reliable, steadfast, and genuine.”

Affordability and Market Appeal Contest Winners Announced!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Solar Decathlon

At an awards ceremony this morning, winners of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 Affordability and Market Appeal contests took center stage by demonstrating that innovative, energy-efficient houses can be cost-effective and appealing to a variety of target markets.

Photo of Richard Anderson and Robert Best at a desk looking at paperwork.

The Affordability Contest juror, Richard Anderson, left, speaks with Robert Best from Stanford University during the Affordability Contest walkthrough. (Credit: Eric Grigorian/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Three teams tied for first place in the Affordability Contest by earning the full 100 points for achieving a target construction cost of $250,000 or less.  The winners are: Norwich University ($168,385), Stanford University ($234,092), and Kentucky/Indiana from University of Louisville, Ball State University, and University of Kentucky ($248,423).

Team Ontario from Queen’s University, Carleton University, and Algonquin College took second place ($257,584), and Middlebury College won third ($263,083).

The winners of the Solar Decathlon 2013 Affordability Contest have demonstrated that innovation in sustainable building can be achieved and implemented in real-world application,” said professional estimator Rich Anderson of Faithful + Gould. “These teams have delivered affordable, livable homes that are also attractive to everyday consumers.”

In the Market Appeal Contest, the University of Nevada Las Vegas wowed the jury and took home first place for its house, DesertSol, which is designed as a luxurious desert vacation retreat for a middle-aged, middle-to-upper-income, active couple.

Photo of the front façade of the DesertSol.

The University of Nevada Las Vegas won first place in the Solar Decathlon 2013 Market Appeal Contest. (Credit: Jason Flakes/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

“The Market Appeal jurors loved the design of this house. The look, the feel, the energy blew us away,” said Susan Aiello, founder and president of Interior Design Solutions and U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 Market Appeal juror. “Of all the houses we saw, we thought that DesertSol best met the needs and desires of its target market. I’d buy it!”

Team Austria from Vienna University of Technology won second place in Market Appeal. Tying for third place were Czech Technical University from the Czech Republic and Stanford University.

The Market Appeal Contest evaluates the livability, marketability, and constructability of each house and its appeal within the housing market of the target client chosen by each team. The Market Appeal Jury, composed of professionals from the sustainable housing homebuilding industry, evaluated the responsiveness of the house designs to the characteristics and requirements of these target clients.

Stay tuned for the announcement of tomorrow’s winners in the Communications and Architecture contests.

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