SIEMENS Helps EXTREME MAKEOVER: Home Edition Deliver First Net Zero Energy Home

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Key enabling technologies deliver the power of the sun to deserving Florida family

An extreme effort by Siemens Industry, Inc. delivered an end-to-end solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system to ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition build site in Cocoa Beach, Fla. during the week of January 10th. A last-minute call from Florida-based general contractor Lifestyles Builders December 21st prompted managers from the Building Technologies Division’s Low Voltage business to quickly marshal the resources and technologies necessary to help create the show’s first zero-net energy home—revealed to the Hurston family and the show’s millions of viewers February 13th.

“Siemens is thrilled to have been asked to play such a significant and supporting role,” said Barry Contrael, director, Siemens Low Voltage Business Unit. “I can’t think of a more deserving family, and to anyone familiar with the program, the Hurston’s lives will be changed forever in a very positive and meaningful way. What was extremely exciting was the fact that Siemens was able—even within the extremely challenging timeline— to deliver a solar energy solution that is flexible and affordable and ready to be installed on virtually any home in America.”

To deliver the system within the show’s incredible 106-hour build window, Siemens enlisted the help of local solar-power contractor Solar Energy Systems of Brevard, Inc. For its part, Siemens donated all the technologies and materials necessary to install the system, including the electrical power distribution and safety equipment that delivers the system’s output to the home and connects the house to the utility’s grid. During daylight hours the system (along with a wind turbine) generates enough power to heat or cool the home and return power to the grid—no small feat considering Florida’s humid subtropical climate and the home’s 3,400 square ft. footprint.

This excess electricity offsets the energy consumed at night—thus making it a zero net-energy home. Ultimately, the solution, along with energy efficient appliances, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and lighting ensure the Hurston family will find relief from their utility bills as long as they live in their custom-built and decorated four-bedroom home.

“We are so proud to have built a net zero home, and I think that’s just a neat thing for the family,” said senior producer Diane Korman. “Siemens stepped up to provide the 9.6 kilowatt system, to achieve net zero—and for Siemens to come through in the timeframe and make something like this happen is incredible, it’s an amazing thing.”

Critical to the 9.6 kW PV system was the implementation of Siemens Siemens Microinverter System that will revolutionize the way solar PV solutions are implemented for home and small business owners. Microinverters provide a modular, scalable platform to connect roof-mounted solar PV modules with a typical residential, commercial, or institutional building’s alternating current (AC) load center or panel board. Siemens microinverters offer a simple and compelling solution to complex system implementation problems and safety issues associated with the direct current (DC) output of solar modules.

To go to the Extreme Makeover website for the Space Coast episode, click here.

To go to the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition website and view the full episode, click here.

To view a video of the building process, click here.

To take a tour of the home, please click here.

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