Lumenhouse at the Solar Decathlon in Washington
As the Solar Decathlon was unveiled on The National Mall in Washington DC this week, there were some really innovative showings from competitors around the nation.
Virginia Tech is showing an interesting idea.Â It’s Lumenhaus has giant sliding walls made ofÂ polycarbonate screens filled with Nanogel for superinsulation.
Ideal for climates with extremes of summer heat and winter cold, the entire house can be opened or closed for heat gain or loss with the panels passively providing heating and cooling. When fully open, they create a pavilion-style living space that blends with the outdoors.
Every year, the US Department of Energy challenges university teams to create novel solar powered (net-zero) buildings and assemble them on the National Mall to compete in aspects of sustainable design. As in the previous 4 years, all the university teams shipped partially constructed homes to and assembled the rest on site.
This year, the 20 teams came from universities in
In addition, Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany, and Spain also exhibited.
This is the first year that Solar Decathlon teams must connect to a stand-alone electrical microgrid so each house can be monitored to be sure they all meet the net-zero energy requirement for the full week. If they go negative (making more energy than they use) they get added points.
If you are in Washington, you’ll want to catch these. The exhibit is open till the 18th of October.