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Efficient Cooling and Mobility: Two Unique DesertSol Features

Team members believe these qualities will bring them to the finish line in October at the Solar Decathlon 2013.

Campus News  |  Aug 15, 2013  |  By Ana Klein

Axles and wheels will be mounted to the DesertSol house to allow mobility. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Editor's Note: 

This is part of a series of stories by student Ana Klein, a member of the UNLV Solar Decathlon team. Through the fall, she will chronicle the team's progress in building their entry in the prestigious contest.

The summer 2013 issue of UNLV Magazine featured students from UNLV's Solar Decathlon team, Team Las Vegas. They discussed individual sections of their solar-powered prototype home, DesertSol. 

The Cool Tower

Christian Iusso graduated spring 2013 with a master's degree in architecture.

Iusso is one of the team members who will be cooking the meal for the invited guests at the home entertainment portion of the competition. He is the exterior features lead for the project and the team's "morale officer."

In the magazine, Iusso discussed the custom roof edging of the home, which ties into his favorite feature, which is “hands down, the cool tower."

The custom design on the roof edge creates a trickling waterfall into the water feature where the water will be stored in a gray water cistern to be used later in the evaporative cool tower as well as for irrigating the native landscaping. A cool tower is used to efficiently cool a space, in this case the 9-foot feature will cool the exterior deck.

Mobile Steel Chassis

Iani Batilov is pursuing his master's degree in civil engineering. 

Batilov was one of the four engineering students who received the Grand Prize at the 2012 Fall Senior Design Competition for their "2013 Solar Decathlon Structural Design."

Batilov discussed the steel chassis of the home, which makes it mobile. “My favorite feature of the home is its mobile nature,” Batilov said.

Batilov likes the fact that DesertSol can be moved from one location to another and he points out that making more homes like these would allow people to build one home and take it with them throughout their lifetime, which would ultimately cut down on embodied energy, which is the energy required to produce goods or services.