September 16, 2011
The Queen's Solar Design Team (QSDT) has a new house on campus. The Queen's Solar Educational Centre (QSEC) is a prefabricated home that will be outfitted with sustainable technologies, including solar energy. The home will act as a research tool for Queen's engineering students.
"The Queen's Solar Educational Centre will be a huge initiative on campus in terms of pushing Queen's to the forefront of sustainability and innovation," says Leia de Guzman, Business Co-Director, QSDT. "It will truly be an educational centre on all fronts, educating community members about sustainable living and providing students with a practical way to apply their knowledge from the classroom."
The research the students plan to conduct includes developing motorized blinds that respond to variations in light and temperature, a net zero home irrigation system, a storm water collection and reuse system, and passive and active solar techniques. The test facility will also give the team design and construction experience as it prepares for the 2013 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, an international competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.
The home, located at the corner of Division and Union Streets, features several sustainable technologies and products including photovoltaic solar panels, flatplate solar collectors, FSC certified lumber, and Energy Star windows.
"We hope to use the home to inspire the Kingston community to demand more from their homes," says Ms de Guzman. "Within the home, we will be featuring energy-efficient products and technologies from local retailers in the hopes that Kingston homeowners will retrofit their homes and strive to live more sustainably."
The QSDT will host a grand opening of the educational centre next month. For more information visit the QSDT website.