Solar Decathlon competition
The Steppe Ark is a typical energy efficient solar residence of 146 square metres in the severe cold zone of China. It has the typical characteristics of an Active House with a high level of comfort.
It maximizes the use of natural light with high-performance windows and doors, skylights, and a multifunctional composite wall. The building also features an optimized design of reflective panels to increase the amount of light in the room without causing glare.
For heating and cooling, the Steppe Ark uses a semi-centralized system for regulating indoor temperature. It utilizes Stirling, a cogeneration system, to provide radiant heating via underfloor pipes by using waste heat generated in winter. This system improves thermal comfort and stability in indoor spaces.
The Steppe Ark also employs a high-performance window and door system that allows for natural ventilation in accordance with the principle of thermal pressure ventilation. The airflow through the openings of the walls and up to the skylights is highly efficient, allowing for rapid cooling in case of indoor high temperatures.
The THU team, formed by Tsinghua University, created the entry "Steppe Ark" based on the nomadic and farming culture of Zhangbei grassland, echoing the nomadic life of "following the water and grass" to carry out architectural design. The roof of "Steppe Ark" uses 352 pieces of aluminum-like photovoltaic glass building materials (including 128 pieces of irregular sizes), which completely replace traditional building materials and cover the entire roof. The aluminum-like photovoltaic building materials continuously deliver green electricity while maintaining consistency with the appearance of "Steppe Ark", achieving the integration of photovoltaic power generation, building materials properties, and decorative effects.
The total amount of solar radiation per square meter area received per year is between 5,852 and 6,680MJ, which indicates that Inner Mongolia belongs to a potential region with abundant solar energy resources – this is where The Steppe Ark has the opportunity to achieve its goal of nearly zero energy building.
Since 2013, Dalian Quacent has been supporting domestic universities to participate in the solar energy competition, witnessing the rapid development of the solar energy industry and the green building industry. Starting from 2021, Dalian Quacent has joined forces with tile experts and solar energy experts to jointly create the "Top Enerygy" series of photovoltaic and building-integrated tiles. The current A-series products are suitable for residential building roofs, with the main features of: perfect fusion of metal material tiles and photovoltaics (BIPV), avoiding visual pollution; the size of ordinary tiles and photovoltaic tiles is the same, and they can be flexibly replaced; easy to install, simple training can be used for installation and power generation; stacked installation to avoid rainwater leakage; embedded installation of photovoltaics, safe and sturdy; low cost, controllable cost.