Students design passive solar homes for ME class

Solar home

Trine University sophomores, from left, Jimmy Halvorsen of Zionsville, Austin Mazura of Westfield, Justin McConnell of Auburn and Josh Cerda of Fayette, Ohio, stand with the model home they designed for competition in the university’s MAE 202 class. The group had the best home out of five submitted. Mechanical engineering majors were tasked with designing a 1/12-scale model home designed to maintain an internal temperature between 74 and 80 degrees using only passive solar heating and the design of the home. Other factors considered included cost and weight. A lamp with four 1,000-watt bulbs was used to simulate sunlight to test the designs. As part of the project, students in the class toured Cardinal Glass Industries in Fremont, which donated glass for students to use in their model homes.

Photo by Dean Orewiler