Friday, November 15, 2013

Simplex Homes Featured at GridSTAR Center

A new facility for exploring smart energy solutions was officially opened Oct. 30 at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia. The GridSTAR Smart Grid Experience Center features a variety of energy technologies that demonstrate methods for building homes, commercial buildings and campuses that are friendlier to the electric grid.

The project site in The Navy Yard includes a smart grid modular home built by Simplex Homes in Scranton, PA, a flexible indoor-outdoor training facility, electric vehicle charging stations and a large battery that helps improve the operation of the electrical grid. The site also features a sustainable storm-water management and native plant landscaping. It's interesting to note that the GridSTAR Center chose a modular home over a site built home.

The GridSTAR home built by Simplex Homes

The GridSTAR Center is one of several energy initiatives launched by Penn State at The Navy Yard. David Riley, a faculty member in the Penn State Department of Architectural Engineering, leads the GridSTAR project.

The GridSTAR Smart Grid Experience Center was launched through grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Finance Authority, and has also included significant contributions of materials, equipment and volunteer expertise from industry partners.“We are particularly proud of the number of Pennsylvania-based businesses that have contributed to the project,” added Riley. The smart grid modular home was built by Simplex Homes in Scranton, Pa., and Philadelphia-based Home Edison. CertainTeed (Valley Forge, Pa.), Lutron Electronics (Coopersburg, Pa.) and Eaton Corp. (Moon, Pa.) each made significant contributions of products and expertise to the project. Solar Grid Storage, a new Philadelphia-based firm founded by Don Bradley, also helped to develop and commission the grid interactive energy storage system at the Experience Center.

The GridSTAR center will serve as the headquarters for a series of education programs and workshops on energy technologies and the smart grid. It is also expected to be a popular destination for visiting conferences and regional events, and will be featured on two official tours offered during the 2013 GreenBuild Conference scheduled in Philadelphia, Nov. 18 to 23.

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