Page 3 of 3

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:51 am
by garygid
Today is the end of the first 4-day session, and it is still a bit too hot for me,
and there might be weekend crowds. By Thursday, the first day of the last
4-day open-to-the-public session (Thursday through Sunday), the forcast
high temperature is down into the 70's, so I intend to go Thursday, or
possibly Friday, and avoid the weekend crowds ... if the creeks don't rise.

Hopefully, I will also attend the Knowlwoods event on Saturday, 9 AM, to eat
and chat before some go to the nearby Solar Decathlon event.

Thanks for the Parking warning (the post above).

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:20 am
by JasonA
Thanks for the report Phil! Too bad that there is no vendor tent or EV display this year, MAJOR BUMMER! :(

We are still planning on Sat morning (as I've like to get there early after breakfast). We went to the JPL open house event both days this last weekend and they shattered records and had to lock the gates and turn people away.

Maybe the $10 parking will deter some :lol:

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:59 pm
by tbleakne
I have watched the videos. There appear to be videos from schools that did not make it to the competition and vice/versa. It appears that the competition this year is smaller with fewer entries than 2 years ago.

Re the OC house Boomer report:
B) They claim to be charging their EV directly with DC from their solar array using a special inverter from Princeton Power Systems. This raises lots of interesting technical questions.
Princeton Power Systems has a web page that mentions this interesting product. It appears the Solar Decathlon house has the first field unit, so it may not quite be on the market. They claim 50% reduction in loss going directly from solar DC to CHAdeMO DC. The inverter also connects to the grid and the house. ... thlon.html

The video for Sacramento State looks interesting and very attractive. Transparent solar cells on windows is discussed by student panel following walk-through video. I wonder whether this technology is finally affordable. The video says it has ductless mini-split A/C, like I have just installed. The decor wood accent looks nice.

The Buffalo house has geothermal features. I have not been able to find out much about geothermal on the west coast. Apparently it works better in the midwest if an accessible water table is not too deep.

Video for Clemson has cute young women explaining their design, which has special features for assembly with unskilled labor.

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:46 am
by tbleakne
I offer below a very brief summary of features and comments on each team that made it to the competition, based on written statements and their videos. The order is according to the current standings, which may change as the judging progresses.

* indicates in top half of judging for architecture or market appeal

*Missouri Science & Technology
Nest home
refurbished shipping containers, recycled materials
home automation, hydroponic garden

*Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ
SURE home
sealed for flood protection hurricane Sandy
PV can operate without grid power

*U of Buffalo, NY
GRoW home
Growlarium passive thermal barrier
canopy for plants
food production year round, geothermal

*Cal Poly, SLO, CA
byfacial solar panels
bio-based phase-change material (palm oil?) in air ducts
wetlands recycles gray water
horizontal slats? redwood, bamboo

*Clemson SC
Indigo Pine home
SimPLY CNC plywood construction uses no nails, hand powered tools

*Sacramento State CA
Reflect home
stylish wood accents, vertical water feature
ductless mini-split A/C
transparent solar panels ??
no plants or food production evident in video

West Virginia/Rome
STILE home
recycled shipping containers + Italian arch
glass walled windows, solar chimney

*UC Davis, CA
Aggie Sol home
for farmworkers mudroom
double wide factory built
radiant cooling uses rainwater reservoir chilled by night air
heat exchanger grey water to potable water
reflective tubing illuminates with sunlight
straw bale wall insulation

Crowder/Drury MO
ShelterR3 home
tornado resistent
grid independent PV

Team NY Alfred
Alf house
Structural insulated panels
energy recovery ventilator
solar hot water, solar dryer
open duct work

*Team Orange County CA
Casa del Sol
rooftop solar thermal, gray water recycled
ceiling opens like California Poppy
direct solar to EV charging
walls adjust
3D printer

*Texas Austin/Germany
BMW i3 charge
Integrated thermal and rainwater storage shifts A/C load off-peak
home hydroponics food production

Mass/Central America
Easi house
EV charging station
ductless heating/A/C

NY City Technology
DURA home
retractable walls
stilts for storm water to pass beneath
solar panel wall

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 12:27 pm
by Boomer23
A nice summary, tbleakne.

For EVs being used in the competition. I counted about 7 BMW i3s, about 3-4 LEAFs, one VW, one Honda Fit and one Smart EV. I think that the teams chose the i3 because it is rated the most energy efficient car available for sale in the US. Seems strange that the Smart EV is less efficient than the BMW? Check
The Smart is rated 107 MPGe combined, 122 city, 93 highway.
The BMW BEV ( electric only) is rated 124 MPGe combined, 137 city, 111 highway
The BMW Rex ( range extender) is rated 117 MPGe combined

Regarding the direct solar DC to CHAdeMO at the Team Orange County house, this application is extra intriguing since they are using a CHAdeMO format. That house didn't have an EV parked next to it when I visited, so I had no idea which charging format they were planning to use. I understand from our EE friends that the CHAdeMO format (or maybe the LEAF software) is too particular about stable input current to allow input from the very variable solar source. It'll be very interesting to learn more about how Princeton has solved this issue.

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:15 pm
by JasonA
I just made a reservation for 12+ under my name.. for 9am

14952 Sand Canyon Avenue
Irvine, CA 92618

Hope to see you all there :mrgreen:

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:01 pm
by LeafyD
:) / :( Hope everyone has a great breakfast Saturday at Knowlwood, and Solar Decathalon visit afterward. I had thought I could make the breakfast at least but looks like I'll be at Tree of Life Nursery in SJ Capistrano all day supporting Ca Native Plant Society's membership drive there. If you have the time, come visit and buy a plant. or two or three... I plan to make my Decathalon visit on the last day, Sunday at 11am when they open. If anyone else plans to go Sunday, or needs another day to see homes they missed please msg me, and we can meet up there! See y'all in Santa Ana next time!

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:22 pm
by tbleakne
With commuting judging complete, Missouri has fallen to 4th place and Stevens has taken the lead. Boomer had said Stevens had a strong entry.
Friday PM Energy Balance scoring came out different, ranking Texan/Germany & U at Buffalo 100%, Stevens ranked 6th, and Sacramento State last, but Stevens is still in overall lead. Last contest, Engineering, results still not posted.

Any specific comments to share from Thursday visit? Boomer ?

I understand there are food trucks. Are they decent ?
My plan remains to visit on Sunday, the last day, with Karen. Hopefully we will see Dori.

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:13 pm
by Boomer23
Gary, Mrs Boomer and I spent 3 to 4 hours there on Thursday and were able to tour 6 to 7 homes. Lines were a bit long at 11 am because there was a mass of high school students visiting. Lines got considerably shorter by 3 pm. We were told that dinner time til closing at 7 pm is also a less crowded time, but I don't know if this would hold true on a weekend, especially closing weekend. My impression is that this year's Decathlon is less crowded than in 2013, but that's based only on two Thursday morning visits.

I particularly enjoyed the New York City house because of its unique urban focus, stacked design and the spunky, urban character of the students.
Also the WV/Rome house because of its beautiful walls of glass and open and stylish design.
The Sac State house was also very beautiful inside and nicely furnished, has an intriguing vertical water feature on the patio, and overhead glazing that incorporates solar cells (but NOT transparent solar cells, the elements are clearly viable) and was built on a very low budget: only $180,000 including an $85,000 cost to transport to and from Irvine. Just amazing.
We went back through the Team Orange County house and enjoyed it again. Very professionally finished and innovative. Not to mention (but I will) that this is the only team ever to include community colleges and it has the largest percentage of undergrads involved.
I think it was the Missouri home that was designed to withstand a tornado, and the build specs and exterior materials are very interesting, said to be able to stop projectiles and even small caliber bullets.
Those stand out in my memory.

Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:48 pm
by garygid
I intend to be at Knowlwoods resturant at 9 AM tomorrow, just
a half block West of I-5 on the South side of Sand Canyon (road?).

I plan to go back into the Solar Decathlon at 11, and stay for
several hours to see what I missed yesterday.
Cherrs, gg