Posts tagged ‘Solar Decathlon’

November 5, 2015, 4:45 pm

Ductless Shines at Solar Decathlon 2015

Solar Decathlon 2015 brought together 14 collegiate teams from across the U.S., who designed and constructed what they believe is the energy-efficient, solar-powered home of the future. The New York City College of Technology team tapped our ductless technology for the biannual competition, which earned their “DURA” home a Top 5 spot in both the Engineering and Energy Balance contests.

What is DURA? It is Diverse, Urban, Resilient and Adaptable. DURA “takes an urban approach to resilient, energy-efficient housing that adapts to the needs of a diverse city and its people.” With the help of our M-Series system, DURA received points for:

  • Innovation – DURA is adaptable. It can stand as a single-family construction or a four-unit multifamily building. Our ductless technology accommodates any design challenge or space configuration.
  • Functionality – Creating a healthy atmosphere was central to the team’s design. Our M-Series system delivers precise comfort control and consistent air flow for optimal indoor air quality.
  • Efficiency – Energy-efficient equipment, especially our system, allows DURA to achieve net zero performance. Condensate from the HVAC is used to water the outdoor garden and green wall, further increasing DURA’s resourcefulness.
  • Reliability – DURA was designed with natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy in mind. The team wanted a durable system that could withstand extreme conditions. The performance and control capabilities make our ductless systems highly dependable.   

Take a tour of this futuristic home at the International Builders’ Show 2016 and join us in congratulating this next generation of inventors.

October 6, 2015, 4:50 pm

M-Series Put to the Test in Solar Decathlon 2015

Every two years, the U.S. Department of Energy holds the Solar Decathlon. The challenge: “collegiate teams from around the world design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.” Over the years, our products have helped teams win the challenge’s biggest awards.

This year, we’re eager to see our M-Series system perform for the New York City College of Technology team. The sixty team members have spent the last two years preparing for the competition that will run from Oct. 8–18 in Irvine, California. They’ve built a net-zero home that is expandable and adaptable – a corollary to our technology’s own flexibility. Their slender, 24-foot by 50-foot structure can house a single family, or can be stacked to create a four-unit multifamily building. In short: very exciting.

One of the most exciting things about Solar Decathlon, though, goes beyond individual designs; it’s being a part of young professionals’ first steps into the building world. Many of these students will go on to be the next generation of engineers, architects, homebuilders, contractors and more. We’re honored that they chose to work with our equipment as they form a foundation of understanding, and we’ll be rooting for them come October 8!

January 7, 2014, 4:50 pm

Ductless on Every Job: Small Spaces

As part of the Ductless on Every Job campaign we launched in September, we’re running biweekly blog posts that focus on situations where contractors can consider ductless as an answer to any homeowner’s HVAC need. This week, we’re focusing on why ductless zoning systems are an ideal solution for small spaces.

Ductless on Every Job

Small, efficient homes, like the homes
in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, are on the rise.

After decades of steady ascent, the average American home size has declined since 2007 and studies expect that downward trend to continue. According to a National Association of Home Builders survey, nearly 75 percent of builders feel that by 2015, the average U.S. home will fall from its current size of 2,438 square feet to 2,152 square feet.

As American homes become more compact, mechanical systems, including HVAC, will need to adapt to fit these smaller homes and maximize living space. With an increasing emphasis on efficient use of space, ductless zoning systems are the best solution for smaller, compact homes because the systems do not require ductwork or mechanical closet space, thus maximizing valuable square footage and ceiling height. The variety of indoor unit, or air handler, styles available – including wall-mounted, ceiling-recessed and floor-mounted – can be mixed and matched to accommodate any tricky space requirements.

The outdoor condensing unit has a similarly small footprint. About the size of a suitcase, the unit can be placed in a small alley, rooftop or porch, which is especially appealing for a row house or urban dwelling with little outdoor space.

To learn even more about why ductless can fill the comfort needs of your small space, visit For more information on selling ductless, go to

November 26, 2013, 10:46 am

Hats Off to Chicago’s Weiss Building and Development

We want to congratulate Weiss Building and Development, LLC, Elgin, Ill., for being honored as a Grand Winner in the Department of Energy (DOE) Challenge Home Builder Awards. Announced during the recent 2013 Solar Decathlon, Weiss Building is among a group of builders that the DOE believes are “changing the way homes are designed and constructed.”

Weiss Building received the Grand Winner distinction for their excellence in home system building, and was also recognized as a winner in the Custom Builders category. This is especially noteworthy as Weiss Building supports the benefits of Passive House construction and the exceptional qualities of ductless technology. As a testament to their extraordinary work and success, Weiss Building constructed a certified Passive House in the Chicago area with a Mitsubishi Electric ductless system.

Chicago Passive House

Chicago Passive House, © 2013 Mike Crews Photography

According to the DOE, “only a select group of the top builders in the country meet the extraordinary levels of excellence and quality specified by Energy Department guidelines.” We are thrilled to work with builders that are of the calibre as Weiss Building and wish them much continued success!

October 16, 2013, 11:48 am

Mitsubishi Electric Helps Solar Decathlon Teams Shine!

Last Sunday marked the ending to the sixth biannual U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which brought together 20 university-led teams from all over the world and their solar-powered houses to be judged on affordability, energy efficiency and aesthetics. As we mentioned in our October 3 blog post, this year’s Solar Decathlon had five teams that incorporated Mitsubishi Electric systems into their designs.

Top scorers in the Decathlon were schools whose construction best blends “affordability consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.” Like the Olympic decathlon, the Solar Decathlon also consists of 10 individual contests, where the teams’ two years of preparation for the 10-day competition gets put to the test.

With the results now in, we’re proud to announce that one of those teams, hailing from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), won second place overall. The UNLV team also earned:

Two other teams that used our systems for their home’s HVAC also walked away with awards. Norwich University and Stanford University both tied for first place in the affordability contest. Stanford also placed:

  • Second in the hot water contest.
  • Third in the appliances contest.
  • Tied for third in market appeal.

We pride ourselves on providing innovative and industry-leading technologies to the market players – distributors, engineers, contractors, consumers – and we couldn’t be more pleased to now add students to the list. After all, these aspiring building professionals are the ones who will shape the future of the industry. Congratulations to the teams and their outstanding achievements!

For more information on this year’s Solar Decathlon, visit Go to to learn more about how our ductless systems can help you win.

October 3, 2013, 10:23 am

DOE Solar Decathlon Teams Tap Mitsubishi Electric for Solar-Powered Homes’ HVAC Needs

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which kicks off today in Irvine, Calif., is a program that challenges collegiate teams from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses.

October 3_Solar Decathlon Image 1First held in 2002 and now held every two years since 2005, the competition tasks aspiring building professionals with creating homes that are cost-effective and energy-efficient, while still maintaining attractive design and functionality. According to the DOE, the winner of the competition is the team that “best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.”

So what’s the point? The Solar Decathlon proves to the public that comfort, affordability and energy-efficiency can all be achieved simultaneously in homes today, and exposes future engineers, designers, architects and builders to the concept of green building.

We know all about seamlessly blending comfort and energy-efficiency for long-term affordability. We’re also no stranger to the Solar Decathlon. In the last competition in 2011, the first place winning team, University of Maryland, used Mitsubishi Electric residential cooling and heating systems for its home’s HVAC needs, as did the People’s Choice Award winner, Appalachian State University. Based on this track record, we have high hopes for the five teams using our systems for their homes this year:

If you’re in Southern California, we highly recommend checking out this event. The Solar Decathlon takes place Oct. 3–13, 2013, at Orange County Great Park. The competition houses will be open to visitors on eight days over two weekends. Public hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. We know who we’ll be cheering for!

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