The Smart Home's solar systems include a photovoltaic electric system and a water heater.
The photovoltaic electric system is composed of eighteen 160 watt panels. Combined, they produce ~3 kilowatts, equivalent to about 30% of the Smart Home's electricity use. Solar energy from the sun strikes the photovoltaic panels and induces a direct current. This is converted to alternating current so that the electricity may be sold to the grid for a 1:1 credit. This reduces the complexity and cost inherent in trying to store produced electricity on site. Instead, the credits gained offset power pulled from the grid when needed.
Solar hot water systems heat banks of solar collectors filled with tubes of conductive fluid by exposure to sunlight. This heated water is pumped to the basement of the Smart Home where the heat is exchanged with water headed for the hot water tanks. Little information is available online about the Smart Home's solar hot water system. However, in Spring 2008 a project group switched single speed pumps for variable speed pumps to try to improve the efficiency of the system.
<a href="http://www.smarthome.duke.edu/projects/hot%20water%20improvement.php">http://www.smarthome.duke.edu/projects/hot%20water%20improvement.php</a> (Further information in the attached PDF)
Note: These Teams for only for the system report - not for the class project.
Project teams will be assigned on Jan 26.
A 200 word draft report on the system is due by Jan 19 at 6pm.
The project team should use this page to write and edit the report.
Solar Power Team
Assignment: Write a 200 word general description of the Solar Hot Water system and Solar Electric Power at the Smart Home.
There are 2 Solar Systems at the Smart Home:
1. BP Solar Electric:
- BP Solar electric
- BP Solar panels on the front of the house (18)
- BP Solar inverter in the basement
- BP solar wireless transmitter near dirty lab
- Solar hot water
- Solar hot water panels on roof
- Solar hot water tanks in basement (3)
- Solar control panels near entryway
- BP Solar electric
NOTE: The ME160 project in Spring 2009 installed 2 variable speed pumps on the solar system to increase efficiency of the system. The complete report is attached.