In order to promote best practices in the design, building and operating of energy-efficient homes, the U.S. Department of Energy has organized the “Solar Decathlon,” a biennial competition that pits engineers and aspiring design professionals from colleges across the country.
Each collegiate team is tasked with designing and building a solar-powered home, educating both the students involved and the public-at-large about the benefits of energy efficiency and indoor air quality.
Because it requires less energy than most light bulbs, and is an industry leading energy recovery ventilator, one of UltimateAir’s RecoupAerator® 200DX units was included in two participant’s submissions; the University of Tennessee’s passive house and the University of Maryland’s watershed!
UT’s “Living Light” House
The University of Tennessee “Living Light” passive house has a modular design that makes use of component systems that promote energy efficiency and sustainability, with an emphasis on simplicity. UltimateAir’s RecoupAerator® 200DX was chosen to be one of the component systems after the team decided it was the “obvious choice” for whole house ventilation and energy recovery. It functions by using a double façade system that supplies the house with passively warmed or cooled fresh air.
Due to its location near the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland’s submission proposes solutions to both energy and water shortages in the area. A “holistic approach to water conservation,” the WaterShed includes a RecoupAerator, which provides ventilation at 70 cubic-feet-per-minute and maintains indoor air quality, all while exchanging energy and moisture between the incoming and outgoing air streams.
While we are proud the RecoupAerator® was chosen - we are not surprised. Because energy consumes a significant percentage of families’ incomes, energy efficiency is critical. But since energy efficiency means building tighter homes so less energy escapes, it can also mean that polluted air becomes trapped inside the home. The RecoupAerator® 200DX solves this problem by not only allowing for substantial energy recovery, but allowing for ventilation so clean, fresh air is always circulating in your home!
The Decathlon will take place between September 23 and October 2, 2011 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. As the judges inspect each submission and determine a winner, the public is invited to tour and review the projects themselves as a method for gathering ideas to improve their own homes and learning how they can save money through energy efficient practices and products.
We wish the both teams the best of luck in the presentations of their project and all of the Solar Decathletes the best of luck!