Schneider Electric announced its sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013, an award-winning program that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. As a Sustaining Sponsor of the competition, Schneider Electric is supporting 10 of the 20 teams by supplying energy management products for use in the houses. Schneider Electric will also provide technology and engineering services required to implement a fully-functioning micro-grid solution -- the connection between the houses and the local utility to provide excess solar energy to the grid and showcase the opportunities for renewable energy technology within smart communities.
“The Solar Decathlon continues to be an extremely important program, not only for training our future engineers and energy managers, but for inspiring the general population to learn more about their energy use,” said Chris Curtis, president and CEO of North American Operations, Schneider Electric. “We’re proud to lend our support to this collaborative effort between the public and private sector and universities to demonstrate the technological advancements that are allowing renewable sources to be incorporated into the existing energy mix.”
Through the ability to connect to the grid provided by Schneider Electric, competing teams will be able to power their homes despite changing weather conditions and varying levels of energy demand, such as higher daytime load requirements. Additionally, because the houses could generate an average of 30 percent more energy than they consume, the excess energy produced will be delivered to the regional electrical grid via the micro-grid, to be used by the local community.
Intelligent energy meters designed to monitor each house individually will be integrated into the micro-grid infrastructure to feed the data to provided energy dashboards in real-time. The Energy Balance contest, which measures each house's energy production and consumption, is one of 10 contests that help determine the overall winner of the competition. Real-time data provided by the energy dashboard will publicly showcase the output of all 20 houses at the event and online through the Solar Decathlon’s website. Schneider Electric will also supply two electric vehicles and EVlink™ charging stations for use during the competition.
“The Solar Decathlon depends on the valuable support of our many sponsors,” said Richard King, director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. “The sponsorship provided by Schneider Electric helps ensure that the Solar Decathlon provides a rich learning experience for the student decathletes and educates the public about the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits presented by clean-energy products and design solutions.”
Schneider Electric has been a Sustaining Sponsor of the competition since 2009, providing the products, services and guidance that have allowed competitors to achieve optimal energy efficiency levels within the solar village.
The Solar Decathlon will take place at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA. Open to the public free of charge from October 3-13, 2013 the competition houses will be open to visitors on eight days over two weekends. The Solar Decathlon enables visitors to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today. For more information about the Solar Decathlon, visit www.solardecathlon.gov.