Penn State Solar Team Energized by Grant

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff March 19, 2007

ELECTRI Intl . has awarded a $50,000 research grant to the Pennsylvania State University 2007 Solar Decathlon student team.of a demonstration solar home whose energy use will be metered.

“The Foundation is dedicated to supporting innovation in electrical construction,” said Russ Alessi, ELECTRI International President. “Many home and business owners are interested in saving energy and photovoltaics can definitely help reduce their energy use.”

The Penn State Decathlon entry, named the MorningStar, will include an 8.5-kW system that will easily generate enough electricity for a typical home. After the Solar Decathlon, the MorningStar will return to Penn State to serve as a renewable energy laboratory at the university’s main campus.

“People are looking for energy alternatives and solar energy is coming of age as a real option,” Riley said.

In addition to the foundation grant, both the National Electrical Contracting Assn. (NECA) and ELECTRI Intl. will work with Penn State to promote the role of qualified electrical contractors in the safe and efficient installation of PV systems in building construction.

“It will be great to have knowledgeable electricians on hand to help make sure the solar energy systems get set up and running quickly and safely. We are looking forward to working with NECA electricians in D.C.,” Riley said.

Alessi explained the foundation’s interest in the Solar Decathlon: “The photovoltaic market jumped 40% in 2006,” he said.s, it can be very affordable.”  

ELECTRI International and Penn State have partnered on other projects commissioned by the Foundation.

To learn more about the 2007 Solar Decathlon, visit the special section of Penn State’s website at .