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Title: The SURE House (Solar Decathlon 2015)

Abstract

Coastal towns and cities across the Northeastern US, with their high population density, aged utility infrastructure, and unique geography, are increasingly vulnerable to climate change related storm events. In October 2012 superstorm Sandy highlighted the fragility of our current coastal building types and made clear the need for a new model of design and construction which works to understand and mitigate these weaknesses. Dramatic changes in public policy, championed by both The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are driving the rebuilding of these shore communities, often resulting in costly renovations, un-sustainable neighborhood configurations and in direct conflict with concurrent government policies such as The American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The SURE HOUSE demonstrates a series of new design solutions to these conflicting public policies and environmental imperatives. At Stevens Institute of Technology, the 2015 Solar Decathlon started with the challenge: Can we design a home for coastal New Jersey that dramatically reduces its energy use while protecting itself from the realities of a changing, more extreme climate? The SURE HOUSE merges the iconic 20th century shore home with 21st century building science. Utilizing innovative renewable energy technologies, a ‘Passive House’ level building envelope,more » and rugged glass-fiber-composite materials to flood-proof the home, the SURE HOUSE is a high-performance, net-zero-energy home, armored against extreme weather, designed for the contemporary lifestyle of the Jersey Shore and other vulnerable coastal communities. SUSTAINABLE At Stevens, we recognize that energy use in the home and workplace is directly connected to the growing problem of climate change. Reducing our energy consumption by designing higher performing, compact homes that are both functional, comfortable and desirable is the first critical step towards a modern, sustainable architecture for New Jersey and beyond. This is what informed the architectural design of the house. Configured about a compact form, thickly insulated and air-sealed walls eliminate thermal bridging and minimize energy losses while advanced glazing brings in free solar heat during the winter months. As a result of these passive design strategies, the SURE HOUSE has a greatly reduced carbon footprint requiring 91% less energy than a typical New Jersey home. Photovoltaic (PV) arrays on both the rooftop and operable shutters easily provide energy in excess of the home’s modest demands. The Stevens team considers a truly sustainable home in the era of climate change, one that prioritizes low energy use, and integrates right-sized renewable generation to supply the home’s needs. Low consumption, low production. RESILIENT In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the east coast of the US. In New Jersey alone there was an estimated 29.4 billion dollars in damages, 346,000 homes affected, and almost two and a half million people left without power, in some cases for over 10 days. Recovery from this storm and associated flooding is ongoing to this day, as many New Jersey homeowners grapple with the large costs of rebuilding and struggle to adapt to complicated new home building regulations. Damage from this storm to Hoboken, the home of the Stevens Institute of Technology’s campus, and to the New Jersey shore was extensive and many students on the SURE HOUSE team were directly affected by this historic event. The Stevens design team recognizes that in a world of more frequent and stronger storms, the ability to absorb and adapt to change is more important than ever. Successfully weathering the next storm and its aftermath is one of the primary goals in the design of the SURE HOUSE prototype. The SURE HOUSE introduces unique ‘dry flood-proofing’ methods to residential construction. Innovative wall and floor flood-proofing, utilizing durable composite sheathing materials adapted from the boating industry, were developed by the student team to render the SURE House’s building envelope flood proof up to the FEMA AE 6/7 Zone (+ 6/7 feet of water above sea-level). Designed and fabricated utilizing glass-fiber composite materials, the custom storm shutter system serves to protect the large glazed openings of the home from both air-borne debris impact and water infiltration during a storm event while also providing deterrence from the vandalism that often occurs in the aftermath of a calamitous event. During extended power outages, a ‘resilient’ solar array is capable of supplying critical amounts of energy and hot water to the home, without the use of battery storage or grid infrastructure. PV Description AC GRID-TIED PV SYSTEM The SURE HOUSE solar system consists of two distinct arrays, the grid-tied rooftop array which produces AC Powerand the shutter-mounted array which converts DC power generated by the modules directly into usable heat for the domestic hot water (DHW). The roof-mounted AC grid-tied array is comprised of three strings, two 11 module strings connected to an SMA SB 5000TL-US-223 inverter and a single 10 module string equipped and an SMA SB 3000TL-US-22 central inverter. All modules for the rooftop AC array are LG MonoX 2804 watt solar panels, chosen for their durability and efficiency. Inverter sizing and string size are optimized to the electrical characteristics of the chosen PV modules and the desired energy production, see Appendix 5B. The SURE HOUSE is projected to produce 12,353 kWh per year to meet 6,157 kWh per year of estimated consumption. Solar modules for the two AC grid-tied sub arrays are mounted on the main roof surface of the SURE HOUSE with a 10 degree tilt angle using a partially-ballasted polyethylene roof mounting system made by Renusol, which is particularly suited to the corrosive salt air of a coastal environment. This method was chosen for its installation simplicity and to limit detrimental roof penetrations. The 10 degree tilt optimizes the energy generated per roof area at a lower price, see Appendix 5A, and ensures that there is minimal wind uplift. DC SOLAR ELECTRIC DOMESTIC HOT WATER The SURE HOUSE’s approach to sustainable and resilient domestic hot water (DHW) consists of a unique, custom engineered DC solar electric hot water system. Employing the use of Advanced Energy’s DC electric PV heater (DCPVH)5 to heat domestic water well beyond the draw temperature, the SURE HOUSE is able to obtain a remarkably high solar fraction of 75% or more. The custom modified 80 gallon Vaughn DHW tank acts as a large solar ‘battery’ that stores heat energy in the form of hot water at almost 150 degrees, harvesting energy when the sun is out for use later in the day or overnight. The system, which uses electricity rather than heated fluid, is distinct from traditional ‘solar thermal’ systems by eliminating the dangers and associated maintenance issues of fluid based systems. By forgoing the use of external fluid loops, overheated solar collectors and pipes are not an issue for the SURE HOUSE system which never needs any yearly or seasonal flushing. In weather conditions where the integrated DCPVH unit cannot produce enough hot water via solar energy alone, the Vaughn hot water tank comes factory made with an AC powered 2.6 COP heat pump and a AC heating coil that serve as back-up heating elements. The DCPVH is powered by a DC array consisting of 10 custom-made Solbian by PVilion 180 watt, monocrystalline, flexible solar modules6. The Solbian modules are directly mounted to the top half of the operable storm shutters on the south façade of the SURE HOUSE. The SURE HOUSE team worked closely with PVillion, a PV system designer specializing in flexible architectural photovoltaics, to design an adhesive system that works with the glass-fiber storm shutter surface in a reliable manner over an extended period. Because this system operates in DC-only mode and never connects to the municipal power grid, the system can continue to create hot water safely and effectively even during grid disruption events. This hot water, and the energy stored within it, could be used for a range of activities including washing and cooking to more elaborate hydronic heating systems as desired. See Appendix 6 for system engineering, sizing and modeling.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Stevens Inst. of Technology, Hoboken, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Stevens Inst. of Technology, Hoboken, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1378086
Report Number(s):
DOE-SIT-0006547-1
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0006547
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; SURE House; Sustainable; Resilient; Sandy; Stevens

Citation Formats

Nastasi, John, and May, Edwin. The SURE House (Solar Decathlon 2015). United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1378086.
Nastasi, John, & May, Edwin. The SURE House (Solar Decathlon 2015). United States. doi:10.2172/1378086.
Nastasi, John, and May, Edwin. Tue . "The SURE House (Solar Decathlon 2015)". United States. doi:10.2172/1378086. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1378086.
@article{osti_1378086,
title = {The SURE House (Solar Decathlon 2015)},
author = {Nastasi, John and May, Edwin},
abstractNote = {Coastal towns and cities across the Northeastern US, with their high population density, aged utility infrastructure, and unique geography, are increasingly vulnerable to climate change related storm events. In October 2012 superstorm Sandy highlighted the fragility of our current coastal building types and made clear the need for a new model of design and construction which works to understand and mitigate these weaknesses. Dramatic changes in public policy, championed by both The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are driving the rebuilding of these shore communities, often resulting in costly renovations, un-sustainable neighborhood configurations and in direct conflict with concurrent government policies such as The American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The SURE HOUSE demonstrates a series of new design solutions to these conflicting public policies and environmental imperatives. At Stevens Institute of Technology, the 2015 Solar Decathlon started with the challenge: Can we design a home for coastal New Jersey that dramatically reduces its energy use while protecting itself from the realities of a changing, more extreme climate? The SURE HOUSE merges the iconic 20th century shore home with 21st century building science. Utilizing innovative renewable energy technologies, a ‘Passive House’ level building envelope, and rugged glass-fiber-composite materials to flood-proof the home, the SURE HOUSE is a high-performance, net-zero-energy home, armored against extreme weather, designed for the contemporary lifestyle of the Jersey Shore and other vulnerable coastal communities. SUSTAINABLE At Stevens, we recognize that energy use in the home and workplace is directly connected to the growing problem of climate change. Reducing our energy consumption by designing higher performing, compact homes that are both functional, comfortable and desirable is the first critical step towards a modern, sustainable architecture for New Jersey and beyond. This is what informed the architectural design of the house. Configured about a compact form, thickly insulated and air-sealed walls eliminate thermal bridging and minimize energy losses while advanced glazing brings in free solar heat during the winter months. As a result of these passive design strategies, the SURE HOUSE has a greatly reduced carbon footprint requiring 91% less energy than a typical New Jersey home. Photovoltaic (PV) arrays on both the rooftop and operable shutters easily provide energy in excess of the home’s modest demands. The Stevens team considers a truly sustainable home in the era of climate change, one that prioritizes low energy use, and integrates right-sized renewable generation to supply the home’s needs. Low consumption, low production. RESILIENT In October of 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc along the east coast of the US. In New Jersey alone there was an estimated 29.4 billion dollars in damages, 346,000 homes affected, and almost two and a half million people left without power, in some cases for over 10 days. Recovery from this storm and associated flooding is ongoing to this day, as many New Jersey homeowners grapple with the large costs of rebuilding and struggle to adapt to complicated new home building regulations. Damage from this storm to Hoboken, the home of the Stevens Institute of Technology’s campus, and to the New Jersey shore was extensive and many students on the SURE HOUSE team were directly affected by this historic event. The Stevens design team recognizes that in a world of more frequent and stronger storms, the ability to absorb and adapt to change is more important than ever. Successfully weathering the next storm and its aftermath is one of the primary goals in the design of the SURE HOUSE prototype. The SURE HOUSE introduces unique ‘dry flood-proofing’ methods to residential construction. Innovative wall and floor flood-proofing, utilizing durable composite sheathing materials adapted from the boating industry, were developed by the student team to render the SURE House’s building envelope flood proof up to the FEMA AE 6/7 Zone (+ 6/7 feet of water above sea-level). Designed and fabricated utilizing glass-fiber composite materials, the custom storm shutter system serves to protect the large glazed openings of the home from both air-borne debris impact and water infiltration during a storm event while also providing deterrence from the vandalism that often occurs in the aftermath of a calamitous event. During extended power outages, a ‘resilient’ solar array is capable of supplying critical amounts of energy and hot water to the home, without the use of battery storage or grid infrastructure. PV Description AC GRID-TIED PV SYSTEM The SURE HOUSE solar system consists of two distinct arrays, the grid-tied rooftop array which produces AC Powerand the shutter-mounted array which converts DC power generated by the modules directly into usable heat for the domestic hot water (DHW). The roof-mounted AC grid-tied array is comprised of three strings, two 11 module strings connected to an SMA SB 5000TL-US-223 inverter and a single 10 module string equipped and an SMA SB 3000TL-US-22 central inverter. All modules for the rooftop AC array are LG MonoX 2804 watt solar panels, chosen for their durability and efficiency. Inverter sizing and string size are optimized to the electrical characteristics of the chosen PV modules and the desired energy production, see Appendix 5B. The SURE HOUSE is projected to produce 12,353 kWh per year to meet 6,157 kWh per year of estimated consumption. Solar modules for the two AC grid-tied sub arrays are mounted on the main roof surface of the SURE HOUSE with a 10 degree tilt angle using a partially-ballasted polyethylene roof mounting system made by Renusol, which is particularly suited to the corrosive salt air of a coastal environment. This method was chosen for its installation simplicity and to limit detrimental roof penetrations. The 10 degree tilt optimizes the energy generated per roof area at a lower price, see Appendix 5A, and ensures that there is minimal wind uplift. DC SOLAR ELECTRIC DOMESTIC HOT WATER The SURE HOUSE’s approach to sustainable and resilient domestic hot water (DHW) consists of a unique, custom engineered DC solar electric hot water system. Employing the use of Advanced Energy’s DC electric PV heater (DCPVH)5 to heat domestic water well beyond the draw temperature, the SURE HOUSE is able to obtain a remarkably high solar fraction of 75% or more. The custom modified 80 gallon Vaughn DHW tank acts as a large solar ‘battery’ that stores heat energy in the form of hot water at almost 150 degrees, harvesting energy when the sun is out for use later in the day or overnight. The system, which uses electricity rather than heated fluid, is distinct from traditional ‘solar thermal’ systems by eliminating the dangers and associated maintenance issues of fluid based systems. By forgoing the use of external fluid loops, overheated solar collectors and pipes are not an issue for the SURE HOUSE system which never needs any yearly or seasonal flushing. In weather conditions where the integrated DCPVH unit cannot produce enough hot water via solar energy alone, the Vaughn hot water tank comes factory made with an AC powered 2.6 COP heat pump and a AC heating coil that serve as back-up heating elements. The DCPVH is powered by a DC array consisting of 10 custom-made Solbian by PVilion 180 watt, monocrystalline, flexible solar modules6. The Solbian modules are directly mounted to the top half of the operable storm shutters on the south façade of the SURE HOUSE. The SURE HOUSE team worked closely with PVillion, a PV system designer specializing in flexible architectural photovoltaics, to design an adhesive system that works with the glass-fiber storm shutter surface in a reliable manner over an extended period. Because this system operates in DC-only mode and never connects to the municipal power grid, the system can continue to create hot water safely and effectively even during grid disruption events. This hot water, and the energy stored within it, could be used for a range of activities including washing and cooking to more elaborate hydronic heating systems as desired. See Appendix 6 for system engineering, sizing and modeling.},
doi = {10.2172/1378086},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {2}
}