The energy efficiencies of a solar house can result in significant energy savings and save homeowners money in the long run, says Samantha Wermager, a senior in civil engineering. Wermager performed an energy analysis of S&T’s 2013 solar house with her advisor Stuart Baur, an associate professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering. Their research was published in the Dec. 4, 2013, issue of the journal Energies.
Wermager used Energy-10 software, which gives feedback on energy performance and helps identify optimal approaches to energy efficiency. She says that using her results, along with an online solar-estimator calculator that helps determine the financial feasibility of installing renewable energy systems, will help homeowners interested in solar houses to see beyond the initial costs.