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The Solar Decathlon Smart Home Project

The Solar Decathlon Smart Home Project

This year, I’ve started working with a solar decathlon team at WSU. We’re working toward a competition in 2017, where we will have to design and built a working home from scratch that runs on solar power. This has many elements to it and our team encompasses a variety of different departments.

Our work so far has centered around getting information about power and load from each individual plug, DC lighting, and the breaker box, wireless switches to turn on lights without having to cut out routing for power, and smart bulbs. I have also done a lot of consulting by filling them in on things that can and cannot work and what is best given our user demographic of single people or couples ages 18-30.

This work will help fund my thesis, which will be a proof of concept for a notification system for the smart home that utilizes reinforcement learning techniques so as not to interrupt the user at inopportune times or with information that is not important to the user. This will be built using Swift 3 in iOS 10 with the intention that it will be used on iPhones and iPads in the final home design.

Other things we will be working on will be:

  • HVAC
    • Temperature
    • Humidity
    • Thermostat
    • Air Quality
    • Weather
    • Windows
    • Vents
  • Machine Learning for buying and selling power
  • Smart appliances
  • Security System
  • Activity Tracking


Leah Zulas, PhD