« A Tale of Two Reports: IPCC & PUCSolar Decathlon 2013 - Right Around the Corner »

Solar Decathlon Update - Coming Together

09/26/13

  11:02:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 644 words  
Categories: Solar Decathlon - 2013

Solar Decathlon Update - Coming Together

We spent yesterday with the great group of folks from Team USC working to re-install their solar PV system. Here’s our update.

Although the Team had the house entirely complete for the Send-off Celebration, it had to be deconstructed into its three component pieces for the trip down to Irvine.  That meant cutting open drywall and unbolting sections from each other before the three sections could be loaded onto trucks.  But it also meant that the solar array, which actually consists of four branch circuits, had to be partially disassembled since three of the four cross section boundaries. Yesterday’s task was to restore those connections in a manner that was up to code - since these houses need to pass a rigorous inspection process before being hooked up to the local “micro-grid” - and help the Team stay on track.

While next weekend the Irvine competition site will be a solar village, right now it is very much a construction zone with massive cranes in all directions manipulating the different homes into place.  Here was the view to the North from atop fluxHome:

Cranes everywhere

 

The view to the South featured a similar display of activity - and the Great Park’s trademark orange sphere is there in the background:

Cranes to the south

 

With all of that activity going on, the competition organizers were taking no chances with safety - everyone entering the competition area was required to wear hard hats, eye protection and proper foot protection.  When working on the roof - where I spent the most of my day - harnesses and fall protection gear were mandatory.  In fact, if a team member is spotted without proper safety gear, the team is docked competition points.  A powerful incentive to follow the rules and maximize safety - always a good lesson to learn.

This image shows us fully decked out in all of our safety gear, working on restoring one of the branch circuit connections:

Velvet & Jim working on fluxHome

 

As you can probably tell, it was a beautiful day to be working on a solar project, particularly an inspiring gig like USC’s fluxHome.  Here’s a view of the roof yesterday:

Roof view from fluxHome at Solar Decathlon site

 

In the foreground you see the massive, automated skylight that forms the aperture for the “solar chimney” that is an integral part of the home’s systems.   Behind the skylight is a portion of the solar array.

Support Team USC

It is a privilege to be a part of the Solar Decathlon - but for the teams involved it is also a massive fund raising project and success, or failure, can be tied to that aspect as much as a great design.  In fact we learned yesterday that one of the teams from Virginia had to drop out of the contest because they couldn’t raise enough money to complete their design and then ship it to California.  So sad to think that two years worth of hard work went down the drain because they fell short on their fund raising.  (As they said in The Right Stuff, “No bucks, no Buck Rogers.")

While Team USC has not suffered such a depressing fate, they could still use your support.  So if you would be interested in contributing to the team, you can jump over to their Support page and make a donation.

A Little Help from Their Friends…

Finally, while we were taking a break on the ground, we came across a film team that was documenting the Team’s progress and they told us about this video that was shot while we were doing the initial installation.  The entire video is well worth watching as it documents the efforts of the four teams from California that are competing this year.  But we have to admit, we are partial to the section that begins around the 35 minute mark - and stick around for the happy conclusion after the break!

Best of luck to all the schools competing, and especially to Team USC - Fight On!

 Permalink

No feedback yet


Form is loading...

Help Save Rooftop Solar!

California Utilities are trying to kill rooftop solar on your home by gutting net metering - but you can stop them!
Join the fight by signing the petition today!

Sign the Petition!

Search

Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

Ready to Save?

Let’s Get Started!

We're Social!



Follow Run on Sun on Twitter Like Run on Sun on Facebook
Run on Sun helps fight Climate Change
CCMS