NASEO joined Virginia Division of Energy (Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy) staff on a tour of the Virginia Tech FutureHAUS and Tech’s power electronics laboratory in Arlington, VA. FutureHAUS, the product of collaboration by over 100 Virginia Tech students and faculty across multiple disciplines, took first prize in the 2018 Solar Decathlon Middle East competition held in Dubai. Currently on display in Arlington, the 900 square foot net-positive energy home not only demonstrates the integration of renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity storage but it also incorporates numerous smart technologies and innovative design features to maximize functionality. Modular design and construction that permits flexible application and rapid onsite assembly is also a key FutureHAUS innovation that can influence the wider construction market.
At both its Blacksburg, VA campus and Arlington, the university’s Center for Power Electronics Systems works on power electronics R&D across multiple scales, from managing individual devices, electric vehicles, and homes to conditioning power on utility distribution circuits to improving power delivery at the transmission level. This and related aviation- and maritime-focused work advances semiconductor-based gear for high voltage, high temperature, and other challenging applications to improve power quality, reliability, and resilience, and also offer environmental and other advantages.