Moxa to sponsor Stevens Institute of Technology in Solar Decathlon

July 1, 2015
Collegiate teams design, build and operate solar powered houses in this fun and engaging program.

The Stevens Institute of Technology has gained a new sponsor in Moxa for the U.S Department of Energy's annual Solar Decathlon. The award winning program challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and visually appealing. 

Moxa will provide its industrial hardened networking equipment to Stevens Institute of Technology students as they build their entry, SURE HOUSE, a sustainable and resilient house for coastal communities engineered in response to the 2012 Hurricane Sandy tragedy. For example, SURE HOUSE will sit on a bed of pilotis (ground-level supporting columns) to slightly elevate it out of reach of flooding, plus have durable flood-shielding incorporated into the outer layers of the house to create a waterproof shell.

Jim Toepper, Moxa's Business Development Manager for the Power Market, commented, "We are excited to lend Moxa expertise to this critically important project. We recognize SURE HOUSE is not just a contest entry for Stevens students but a demonstration showing future generations of innovators how to build in a world affected by a changing climate, and a chance for them to do their part to help the New Jersey Shore bounce back from the damaging effects of Hurricane Sandy."

AJ Elliott, graduate student in the Product Architecture Engineering program at Stevens said, "We have a computer science senior design team designing a very in-depth home monitoring system using Moxa equipment. With this system we are monitoring our branch circuit power consumption and numerous indoor and outdoor environmental data points. This data is critical to verifying our home's performance as well as measuring how the house holds up during weather events and power outages. We wanted the system to be as low-power consumption as possible since for the Solar Decathlon competition there are rigorous energy limitations."

SURE HOUSE is said to feature an open floor plan in quintessential 60's style with state of the art building science, the latest renewable energy technology and fiber-composite materials. The home uses 90% less energy than its conventional counterparts, powers itself through clean solar energy and in the aftermath of a storm becomes a hub for emergency power to the neighborhood.

Moxa contributed critical elements that will assist the project in achieving its goals of being fully solar powered and storm resistant. A Moxa UC-8100 wireless computer with LTE module and an EDS series network switch provide a low-power solution for cellular network connectivity, datalogger queries, database logging and HTML page hosting.