Are Solar Homes Coming to Louisville?

Louisville may not be Yuma, Arizona, which leads the nation with a 90% chance of having a sunny day, but we’re ahead of Chicago, Detroit, and Cincinnati! This is according to the National Climatic Data Center. What constitutes a sunny day anyway? More than 50% of hours with at least some sunshine?

Photo of a university working on solar homes
20 Universities are competing in a solar home building competition

In any event, it’s interesting to see how technology improvements make their way into new construction and home improvement. What brought this to mind is that the Department of Energy is sponsoring a competition to build the best home that runs entirely on solar energy. With teams from MIT and other top schools, they’re really pushing the envelope. In fact, the competition requires that they use only “commercially available products”.

“You can’t yank something out of the lab and throw it onto your roof. You have to use commercial, production-grade products,” said Kurt Keville, the project’s faculty adviser and a researcher at MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies. “I was heartbroken.”

Here in Louisville, Kimbel Construction is looking to differentiate itself as our city’s energy-efficient builder, even though its website doesn’t go into detail about what that means. It would certainly be worth your time to interview Mr. Kimbel if a new home is in your future.