Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Engineering and Computer Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Sciences and Engineering
Mechanical Engineering | Other Mechanical Engineering
Current use of fossil fuels has raised adverse problems in today’s society. The biggest one of them is the climate change caused by emissions of greenhouse gases. For this reason, renewable energies, or energy flows which are replenished at the same rate as they are used, are needed to reduce carbon emissions in the range of 60-80% by the end of the twenty-first century.  Energy used in houses nationwide contributes to 16% of generated greenhouse gas emissions.  This large percentage of greenhouse emissions could be reduced by designing and developing energy efficient houses, or net-zero energy houses, such as the Turbine House. The Turbine House combines wind energy, solar photovoltaic energy, solar thermal energy, and geothermal energy to offer a fully integrated sustainable solution for off-the-grid living. The design was developed by Prof. Michael Pelken from the School of Architecture and Dr. Thong Dang, from LC Smith College of Engineering. The main goal of this project is to perform sizing calculations to adjust preliminary design dimensions for both renewable energy technologies and treated floor area to obtain a net-zero energy house. Features of the passive house standard, an energy performance standard, will be implemented to maintain primary energy consumption under 120kWh/m²year, and space heating consumption under 15kWh/m²year. Environmental, architectural and system variables were taken into account for site specific energy analysis of the Turbine House located at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. RETScreen software was utilized to analyze site specific conditions and perform sizing calculations for geothermal heat pump. As a result, wind energy contributes 66% of renewable energy provided, while solar photovoltaic energy and solar thermal energy contributes 33% of renewable energy provided. Geothermal energy will be utilized as a back-up option for space heating and domestic water heating.
Hernandez, Karen E., "Turbine House: A Net-zero Energy House" (2010). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 357.
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