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Student Engineers to Represent Florida in Solar Decathlon 2011

Students at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering are helping design a sustainable, cost effective house to be judged and showcased at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in the fall. FSU is one of four universities that comprise Team Florida, a multidisciplinary team of students and faculty partnering to design, build, and operate an affordable, energy efficient house for the international collegiate Solar Decathlon competition.

Team Florida is one of 20 teams selected to compete. Teams will be judged on affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and efficiency.Team Florida's submission for the Solar Decathlon is FLeX House, a flexible, modular building system designed for a young, moderate-income couple and engineered specifically for Florida's hot, humid climate. FSU's component of the team has been focusing on the house's energy efficiency. The student engineers have worked for over a year to determine which features would be right for the house.

FLeX House will employ an adjustable mounting structure for optimum solar panel installation, flat plate collectors for solar thermal water heating, zoned air conditioning for efficient air temperature control, and a liquid desiccant system to reduce air humidity. Construction is set to begin in March.

"We ultimately wanted to design a sustainable house that balances energy efficiency and affordability," said Shannon Ingersoll, engineering graduate student at FSU. "FLeX House will help show the public that solar-powered homes are accessible and attainable, and will draw attention to all the sustainable energy initiatives in our state and the expertise we have to offer."

IESES is supporting FSU's participation in Team Florida. To view other sponsors of FLeX House and for more information, please visit www.flexhouse.org.

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