Flexible energy provider PearlX Infrastructure LLC announced a partnership with Rice University’s architecture department to complete the installation of a sustainable accessory dwelling unit. The unit, owned by leading Houston affordable housing non-profit Avenue CDC, is modelled after the traditional Texan “Dogtrot”. It will source its power from rooftop solar PV modules, donated by Freedom Solar, and a contiguous SolarEdge Energy Hub inverter and Energy Bank battery donated by PearlX.
The innovative 640 square foot unit has two wings divided by a “breezeway”: one housing the bedroom and bathroom, the other the kitchen and living room. The unit will only allow one wing to be energized at a time, and will substantially reduce the carbon footprint, energy costs, and provide the unit energy resiliency- courtesy of SolarEdge’s award-winning technology.
PearlX, who joined the project to build upon its mission of expanding access to the benefits of clean energy to the entire multifamily space, will be asset managing the project with its proprietary management software, “PearlX Flex”, and will be integrating the installation with a virtual power plant currently being developed at the multifamily community 2410 Waugh in Montrose, Houston. This will allow the physically detached installations to operate as one synchronized solar and battery plant, delivering excess generated power not consumed by residents to the grid.
Commenting on the collaboration, Andrew Colopy, Associate Professor at Rice Architecture stated “the Auxiliary ADU was uniquely designed to use minimal energy, but only with the help of the PearlX team were we able to incorporate on-site generation and storage to meet our goal of building our first net-positive energy project.”
The energy performance data will be made available to Professor Dan Cohan’s class “Energy and the Environment” for students to learn from operating, smart distributed generation projects.