Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Kim Shollenberger


The Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed Team Solar Cal Poly from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, as a competitor in the 2015 Solar Decathlon in February 2014. The Solar Decathlon is a biennial collegiate competition to construct a net-zero home and operate it for a week of “normal use”. Solar Cal Poly needed assistance with passive and active HVAC systems for the design, and thermal load models. The competition will take place in Irvine, CA [33.67⁰, 117.82⁰ W] from September 27 – October 3, 2015. After the completion, a potential final location for the house will be Santa Ynez, CA [34.61⁰ N, 120.09⁰ W]. Ms. Willis assisted with a climate study for both locations and research passive and active HVAC systems and design elements for Team Solar Cal Poly. She modeled the final summer design in DesignBuilder to calculate the heating and cooling loads. The heating load was calculated to be 26.7 kBTU/h. The cooling load was calculated to be 2-tons. A mini-split HVAC system was selected for the final summer design based off the calculated heating and cooling loads. For this design, the Fujitsu Hybrid Halcyon Flex met the minimum requirements, and was a multi-zone system that could condition all three major spaces of the design. This report provides a summary of information and the basic design process for future Solar Decathlon designs considerations.

FINAL DATA.csv (1290 kB)