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The E-House at Grasso Tech

The E-House at Grasso Tech

Location: Ella T. Grasso Technical HS, 189 Fort Hill Rd. - Groton, CT
Completed: April 24, 2013

Solar Panels Power an Electric Car and the School's Hairdressing Shop

The E-House at Grasso Tech is the third E-House opened by the Connecticut Technical High School System. On the day it opened in 2013, the solar panels were already providing the clean power being used to charge an electric car, while simultaneously producing hot water for the school's Hairdressing shop.

The Grand Opening ceremony started in the school gym where visiting dignitaries including Dr. Nivea L. Torres - Interim Superintendent of the Connecticut Technical High School System (CTHSS) , Sharon Palmer - Connecticut Commissioner of Labor and Bryan Garcia - President of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority spoke to the invited guests. Host of the Ceremony, Grasso Tech Principal Patricia Feeney also proudly introduced Kelsey Reeves, a 2012 graduate of Grasso Tech. Kelsey, who is already working in the water water management field, spoke about the importance of the training she received at Grasso Tech especially her experience in working on the E-House.

All attendees then went out to the E-House for the official ribbon cutting ceremony. Guests then went on tours of the facility with students acting as guides specifically speaking about the work they did on the E-House. Normally, one would expect all sorts of noises associated with running electrical and plumbing systems, said John Sylvestre, head of Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Technical High School's electrical department. But when the final systems for the E-House were put online, Sylvestre said he and students watched for a small LED light to check to see if it was actually working.

Surprisingly Quiet

The 16-by-20-foot structure was built by Grasso students on school grounds and incorporates solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, running its electrical, heating and hot water systems from the solar panels on its roof.

"The E-House brings it full circle with what we're doing in the classroom," Sylvestre said. "We can go out and practice in the field. It's another avenue for our students to follow for when they graduate." In support of his statement, some Grasso students, now graduates interning or working full-time in positions related to their experience with the E-House, returned to attend the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the E-House.



Check out the photos below of the Grasso Tech E-House construction and grand opening ceremony!


The E-House at Grasso Tech

Framing & Insulation:

  • Variety of energy-efficient framing techniques
  • Weatherization applications
  • Building analysis
  • Thermal imaging ability
  • Insulation training mock up
  • Historical to newest trends of insulation

Heating & Cooling:

  • Bosch Greenstar wall-hung condensing gas boiler
  • Daiken 26 SEER ductless mini-split heat pump, with online control ability
  • Watts low temperature radiant heating system (2 circuits of heat)
  • Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with multiple stages of heat
  • Comparison of heating terminals: low temperature wall panel radiator, wall convector, conventional baseboard, towel warmer, & low temp radiant heat

PV & Electrical:

  • 9 Solar Photovoltaic Panels (2.115 kW)
  • PV system is grid tied. Excess energy created within the E-House will be fed back into the grid.
  • Enphase micro-inverters
  • Incandescent, compact fluorescent, halogen and LED lighting
  • ENERGY STAR® paddle fan
  • Enphase Enlighten monitoring system

Solar Thermal:

  • Electric vehicle car charging station
  • 2-Buderus SKS4 solar thermal panels
  • Buderus 300SM, 80 gallon dual coil indirect water heater
  • Domestic hot water created in the E-House will be utilized within the entire school.
  • Solar thermal monitoring system via Sun Reports