Disaster relief housing caught the attention of Team Kentuckiana, a group of students and faculty from the University of Louisville, Ball State University, and the University of Kentucky, who were selected to compete in the 2013 Solar Decathlon (SD) Competition sponsored by the Department of Energy (solardecathlon.gov). This biennial competition challenges 20 collegiate teams from across the US to design, market, and build a cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive house that runs on solar energy. Houses will be showcased in Fall 2013 at the national competition site at Orange County Great Park in Irvine CA.
During the design phase of the competition, Team Kentuckiana identified the need for low-cost, solar-powered habitats for disaster relief. The team is working toward a quickly and easily deployed structure powered independently of the electric power grid. The home features a grid-compatible power system for net metering and can be linked with other homes to form local microgrids.
After the SD competition, the Speed School of Engineering will utilize the Team Kentuckiana home on the UofL campus as a student outreach center and for further technology studies and testing. Additionally, the house can also help address the pressing need for low-cost, energy efficient housing in rural areas where power access can be prohibitive. Typical manufactured homes used in these areas are very inefficient and key contributors to elevated energy costs. The team’s housing system, which will be designed to be comparable in cost to conventional manufactured housing and utilities, can be used in rural areas with greater efficiency and long-term equity.
Team announcement: Read the announcement
Three Leigh Ann Conn Fellowships will be for the Team Kentuckiana Solar Decathlon team.
More info: Leigh Ann Conn Fellows Program
For more information about the competition, visit the Solar Decathlon website: http://www.solardecathlon.gov/.