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Company Projects

Solar Decathlon - October 2013

solar decathlonAfter many months of planning and anticipation, the Center transported the Alternative Power Systems (APS) mobile power systems demonstration trailer to the DOE Solar Decathlon in beautiful Irvine, California. The 16 ft. trailer displayed the APS photovoltaic array coupled with a battery storage system, which were linked to the FREEDM DC microgrid distribution system, arc-free DC plug demonstration, and efficient LED lighting. Posters inside the trailer explaining related FREEDM technologies, such as the Plug and Play PV system and the Solid State Transformer, were also on display. From October 10th through the 13th, NCSU ECE seniors Anirudh Mulukutla and Tiadra Simpson explained the intricacies and potential benefit of these energy technologies to the many thousands of visitors to the Solar Decathlon Technology Expo. The DC power demonstration and technical discussions were very popular with both working engineers, as well as many lay persons interested in home energy efficiency technology, who visited the trailer.

solar decathlonThe Solar Decathlon is an international collegiate design competition in which universities design, build, and operate solar powered, energy efficient homes that are cost effective; utilize sustainable building practices, and display aesthetic design. The 19 competitors this year come from as far away as the Czech Republic and Austria; and include FREEDM partners Arizona State University and Missouri University of Science and Technology. The ingenuity, creativity, and architectural sensibility of the teams' creations was nothing short of phenomenal! (

solar decathlonBoth Tia and Ani spoke about their experiences in a very positive way. They networked with students from several universities and toured the many Solar Decathlon Competition homes on display. In the coming months, both will be working hard to lay the groundwork to start a solar home proposal at NCSU for the Solar Decathlon 2015. They believe that NCSU's stellar engineering school and world-class School of Design and Architecture, paired with the industry contacts they were able to develop on this year's trip, will combine to form a very competitive entry.

The Center is indebted to M.C. Dean for their sponsorship of our entry in the Technology Expo, to APS for their mobile power system trailer and generous logistic support, and to CREE for their LED lighting systems.