ABB's leading technologies help Tsinghua University win second place at Solar Decathlon

2018-10-25 - ABB and Tsinghua University joined hands to build a solar-powered house with intelligent technologies, which can be used in smart home solutions.

With the support of ABB, a team from Tsinghua University has been awarded all-round runner up in the 2018 Solar Decathlon China (SDC).

Solar Decathlon is an international competition, started by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002. It compares five design features and tests five technical indicators of photovoltaics-powered small houses built through the integration of architectural design and engineering technologies. The competition has expanded internationally to include competitions in Europe, China, North America, the Middle East, and Africa.

ABB provided the Tsinghua team with solar inverters, low-voltage (LV) power distribution components and smart home solutions, enabled by ABB AbilityTM , the company’s unified, cross-industry digital offering, to design and build their solar house.

The entry ranked first on three parameters: comfort, appliances and EV. It stood second in communications, engineering and innovation.

The event was hosted by the National Energy Administration of China and the U.S. Department of Energy, with the theme of promoting urbanization with renewable energy. The event was held at Dezhou Solar Town, Dezhou Economic and Technological Development Zone, Shandong. Nineteen teams took part, with members from 34 universities of eight countries/regions. The event entered construction phase in July 2018. Evaluations and comparisons officially began in August.

“Solar Decathlon, an international collegiate solar building competition, aims to accelerate industry-university-research institute cooperation and exchange within the solar industry, promoting innovative development and in-depth application of solar technologies. We are delighted to work together with Tsinghua University again in the competition, offering cutting-edge solar and smart home solutions and helping the Tsinghua University team become all-round runner-up,” said James Zhao, lead division manager Electrification Products, ABB China.

“Relying on digitization, industrial expertise and abundant experience, ABB will continue to strengthen frontier R&D and innovation in the electrical field and facilitate industrial progress together with colleges and universities, to support the development of renewable energy and lead sustainable development in the future,” Zhao added.

ABB’s advanced smart home technologies helped the team from Tsinghua University finish first in the comfort category. ABB i-bus smart home control system converted the solar house into an intelligent and connected living space. The air quality sensors installed made the rooms more comfortable.

ABB’s tailored solutions deliver safe, sustainable energy, intelligent communication and control in all building spaces and facilitate the option of zero emission transport via electric vehicles.

In the competition, ABB’s TRIO photovoltaic inverters featured intelligence, efficiency, novel design and high-level grid adaptability, supporting solar power generation within the WHAO House. The high reliability and safety of inverters is ensured through strict component model selection and an advanced control algorithm. ABB offers products and solutions from sun to socket, integrating solar power generation, large capacity energy storage, intelligent charging stations and micro-grid systems to create a sustainable world.

James Zhao concludes: “In recent years, many countries have been accelerating the transformation toward clean and low-carbon energy, helping more enterprises and individuals benefit from green energy. By leveraging ABB Ability™ and segment expertise, ABB is bringing all the digitally connected devices, equipment, systems and solutions to build a digital ecosystem with partners and raise all-round values for customers.”

The first SDC took place in 2013 in Datong, Shanxi, where Tsinghua University team finished fifth using ABB’s electrical products.



ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 18,000 employees located in 142 cities, 40 local companies, and online and offline channels across over 300 cities.

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