Rehau donates heat system to Virgina Tech for solar-energy contest
March 1, 2003
LEESBURG, Va. - Rehau donated a radiant floor heating systems to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly called Virginia Tech, for use in its national solar decathlon contest entry. Virginia Tech took fifth place in the Department of Energy event - a competition among 14 universities to design, build, and operate the most effective and efficient solar-powered house. "We are pleased to support Virginia Tech's participation in this valuable event, which is aimed at demonstrating energy efficiency and renewable energy to the public," said Bill Melvin, design coordinator for Rehau's heating and plumbing group. "This is an important message during a time when alternative energy sources are becoming increasingly relevant to the nation." Rehau's radiant floor heating system features Raupex cross-linked polyethylene pipe. The RFH system consists of 1,000 ft. of 3/4-in. Raupex O2 Barrier pipe, Railfix and screw clips for easy installation of the pipe under the floor surface, and a SPC150 setpoint control to regulate the system. Virginia Tech's solar thermal collection system is designed to collect as much radiation as possible from the sun and transfer it to a storage tank. The storage tank provides thermal energy to the hot water system. The distribution system uses the collected thermal energy to heat potable water, which circulates through Rehau's radiant floor heating system. The surface area of the floor gently radiates heat evenly and consistently throughout the home. For the competition, the solar decathletes had to use solar to supply all the energy for an entire household, including a home-based business, along with the transportation needs of the household and business. The competition was held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Virginia Tech house took first place in two of the 10 competition categories - "Design Presentation and Simulation" and "Getting Around." The team also received the BP Solar Innovation Award for innovative use of materials and systems. Rehau, a global polymer processing company, offers products for residential and commercial construction.