May Newsletter | Research, Design Reports, Sponsorship, Public Events in August

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

If you haven't yet joined our newsletter, sign up to receive this post straight to your inbox each month! We'll send you a recap of what we've been up to - our projects, blog posts, and upcoming community events.

We promise to always keep our emails short, clear, interesting, and educational!


Check out our latest blog posts published in May! We've covered some neat topics this month:

To be labeled as a green building, a structure must be sustainable and resource-efficient throughout all steps in its design, construction, operation and maintenance processes. Passive, net-zero, and autonomous refer to different levels of sustainable construction and operation. Read more about the differences!

Ever wondered how photovoltaic solar panels work, how we store energy in a battery, why we need an inverter to convert DC energy received from the sun's into AC to power your appliances, and what other technologies are used in the solar industry? This is the post to read!

Canadians are among the highest per-capita resource users of any country in the world despite our changing approach to environmental stewardship. We put together a list of 5 stunning Canadian projects that are leading the industry in the use of sustainable building technologies. They include the ILC building at Queen's (where our QSDT office is located!), the Manitoba Hydro Headquarters, the Vandusen Botanical Gardens and more! Read about the kinds of solutions were integrated into these buildings to make them ultra-sustainable!


We have no events currently scheduled for June. Our focus is improvements to the QSEC and workshop development!

However, you can now look forward to seeing us at the following public events, in addition to the private children's workshops we are excited to host with local camps during July and August!

  • Princess Street Promenade (Saturday, August 3)

  • Sidewalk Sale (September 4)

  • Eng Day 2019 (September 7)

  • Sustainability Week (various events on campus from September 29 to October 4)

Also stay tuned for some very special public workshops we are planning for you to attend right at the QSEC location during the summer!


Mechanical Systems

  • Plan and proposal for solar collectors. We are planning to install 30 HP250 solar collectors on the exterior south wall.

  • Revised Plumbing layout. We've redone the plumbing plans for the boiler and solar collector array. The old plans were not all-inclusive. (pending professional review)

  • Plans for an anti-freeze solution. We have investigated some potential glycol solutions to use in the PV array as well as some tests that we will need to do on the liquid before we can use it in the house.

  • Solar data modelling. We have estimated the monthly power generated by the collectors and what the available energy for the house might look like throughout the year. This helped with determining the collector angle and will show how much auxiliary heat we may need from the boiler or electric heater.


  • 5-Stage design for water system. Each stage will be installed separately, including the rainwater collection system, the cleaning/filtration stage, the storage and delivery of the clean water stage, the usage stage, and the disposal stage. Once complete, the QSEC will boast an impressive system that only employs water collected from rainfall and recycles most of its wastewater for other applications, including irrigating our gardens.

  • Design plans for exterior upgrades. An accessibility ramp has been designed-to code, and is prepared for construction in the coming weeks. Research is currently being completed for optimal plant types to introduce in our planter boxes, based on suitability to be irrigated by rainwater.

  • Envelope monitoring tests designs. Tracking the QSEC's performance in terms of energy use, airtightness, and insulation effectiveness is important, and will be done with an infrared camera/air blower door test.

  • Room partitioning design. Initial plans are being proposed for where rooms will be partitioned in the house.


  • Datalogging and live data display is back online on The data includes temperatures around the house, solar irradiance, rainfall, and wind speed and direction, which help us monitor the house from the office.

  • Wiring requirements report. Completed extensive research and assessment of all the wiring needs for hooking up the inverter at the QSEC according to the requirements of the CEC. Identified and documented several possible mounting locations for the PV inverter. (pending professional review)

  • New PCB set up and tested. The new printed circuit board (PCB) for the prototype solar tracker has been set up and tested. Additional debugging and improvements will be made on the prototype over the next month in preparation for summer workshops hosted by QSDT.


  • Completed a full rebranding of our website, blog, logo design, online presence and team voice. We ordered our team shirts from Awesome & Beyond, who kindly sponsored our team!

  • Workshop offerings in collaboration with the rest of the team. This summer, we are running several workshops and are excited about our solar car races, sustainable cardboard house challenges, insulation and filtration activities, and energy detective activities. Visit our webpage to have us join you at your event or camp!

  • Working budget. Our team's working budget document has been completed, and is being appended to for the next couple of weeks as our summer projects and expenses are being finalized.

  • Sponsors and partner discussions. We are currently in discussions to help us realize several goals, including our children's workshops, our engineering projects at the QSEC, our public tradeshow and booth events, and our partnership visions with local Kingston and Queen's organizations. If you are interested in working with our team, please reach out to

Click here to view the online version of this newsletter.

34 views0 comments


We will not be hosting in-person workshops, community events, or QSEC Tours. Please contact us to inquire about hosting online events for your organization.

We thank you for your ongoing support.