Virginia Tech's Lumenhaus will appear in an upcoming episode of Extreme Homes. Tune in and see Thomson technology in action. The episode airs Friday, September 20th, 2013 at 9PM. (Check your local listings.) The program description is "Yoga, Ocean Liner, Fossils."
Virginia Tech University’s Lumenhaus, an 800 square foot energy-optimized and sustainable “smart” home that was the first place winner of the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe, epitomizes a “whole building design” construction approach, in which all the home’s components and systems have been designed and built to work together to maximize user comfort with environmental protection. The Lumenhaus design maintains optimal energy performance at all times. The house has its own weather station with a ‘passive/active’ environmental control system to minimize energy consumption and maximize efficiency. In short, the weather station communicates with the control system, which in turns tells the Thomson motion system whether to open or close the house. When the house needs insulation, insulation screens close; when the house needs shading or privacy, shading screens close, all without blocking natural ventilation.
Lumenhaus’ layered systems consist of a series of motorized shade screens and insulation panels that adjust to the changing weather patterns. The screens and panels can weigh up to 1000 lbs. each, and coupled with potentially high dynamic loads from exposure to changing environmental elements, the tools that move them need to be extremely robust. The shade screen assemblies ride on Thomson 60 Case low profile round rail assemblies with Super Smart Ball Bushing bearings, and are run by Thomson RapidTrak belt-driven Linear Motion Systems powered by Kollmorgen AKM Servomotors.
The insulation panels and shade screens, which serve as the “clam shell” that protects the house against the elements, are hung and moved by Thomson RapidTrak systems. The house also uses Thomson PPA PowerPac Actuators as part of a photovoltaic array that tracks and generates power from the sun, and automatically adjusts to accommodate for changes to the angle of the sun on a seasonal basis.