Research Papers

Performance of a Zero-Energy House

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Rosta, R. Hurt, R. Boehm

 UNLV Center for Energy Research, Las Vegas, NV 89154

M. J. Hale

 National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401


J. Sol. Energy Eng 130(2), 021006 (Mar 10, 2008) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2844429 History: Received September 27, 2006; Revised October 10, 2007; Published March 10, 2008

A comparative study is reported to measure the actual performance of a zero-energy house (ZEH) of typical tract design. Ideally, a ZEH produces as much energy as it consumes in a year’s time. Two identically sized tract houses (149.6m2(1610ft2)) were constructed side by side in southwest Las Vegas, NV. One house is used as a base line (standard comparison) house and was built using conventional construction techniques. The other house, the ZEH, employs many energy saving features, solar power generation, and supplemental solar water heating. Both houses have been equipped with a network of sensors that measure virtually every aspect of energy usage in each home. Initially, both houses have been utilized as model homes in a tract housing development, so it was reasonable to believe that both experienced similar and consistent usage. Performance data are logged and are posted on the web. This paper describes the differences in construction details between the two houses. Results of monitoring are presented that contrast the performance of the two houses.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Base line house (left) and ZEH (right)

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Figure 2

ZEH south facing roof; solar panels and solar water heater

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Figure 3

Tankless water heater

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Figure 4

ZEH versus base line electric energy use and monthly net energy use



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