CHIP Prefab at 2011 Solar Decathlon

CHIP is a prefab, net-zero solar-powered house designed and built by a student-run team from two Southern California schools, SCI-Arc and Caltech, for the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. See the results of the 2-year design, after the jump.

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CHIP ("Compact Hyper-Insulated Prototype") was designed and built by a student-run team from two Southern California schools: Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Solar Decathlon consists of ten contests in which houses are evaluated on criteria of architecture, and efficiency. This year's contest is being held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

CHIP incorporates a number of innovative technologies to help it achieve its affordable net zero energy goals. At its core, CHIP has an incredibly smart energy management system. For example, a thermal storage tank stores heat from the AC condenser until it is needed to heat water. A whole-house fan can completely cycle the air from the entire house in under half an hour, clearing contaminants and introducing fresh air into the home.

It also has the expected rainwater collection system, and PV solar power system. An irrigation system is tied into weather forecasting so that irrigation doesn't occur when it's going to rain.

Read More at Chip 2011

(Images: Chip 2011)

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