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01.17.12 - 04.17.12 | Exposition Park, California Science Center
SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar CHIP House:
On view at the California Science Center

SCI-Arc, Caltech, global solar panel manufacturer Hanwha SolarOne Co., Ltd. (Hanwha Solar) and California Science Center are pleased to announce the unveiling of the SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha CHIP Solar House at the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles.

A ribbon-cutting celebration with Los Angeles Councilwoman and Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry, Director Eric Owen Moss of SCI-Arc, Caltech Resnick Institute Director Harry Atwater, California Science Center Deputy Director of Education Ron Rohovit, and Justin Lee, Chief Commercial Officer of Hanwha Solar, will be held Tuesday, January 17, at 2pm at the California Science Center at Exposition Park.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says of CHIP: “Congratulations to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for their contribution to the utilization of solar power by designing the next generation of clean energy residential properties. SCI-Arc is the education and innovation anchor of the CleanTech Corridor and it is my distinct pleasure to recognize its contribution in making Los Angeles the leading city in sustainable design and architecture."

Through a partnership with the California Science Center, the house will be open to the public for free tours through May 31, 2012, giving Science Center visitors the opportunity to explore CHIP both inside and out. Tours will be available weekdays from 10am to 1:30pm, and weekends from 10am to 4pm.

"The Science Center’s Ecosystems gallery gives our guests an appreciation for how the living world and physical world are interconnected. We believe the experience provides guests with the knowledge to become better stewards of the environment," said Ron Rohovit, Deputy Director of Education at the California Science Center. "The CHIP House extends that knowledge with an innovative example of sustainable housing."

Praised for its unique look, the 750-square-foot, net-zero home features a quilted exterior—fittingly compared to a giant pillow or spacesuit—where insulation is stretched around the frame rather than stuffed inside it. CHIP took two years, more than 100 students and $1 million to build. It would cost $300,000 to replicate the structure, including materials and labor.

"As a global solar manufacturer committed to building a clean energy economy, we are gratified to see Hanwha Solar’s photovoltaic technology used in such an innovative way," said Hee Cheol Kim, president of Hanwha SolarOne Co., Ltd. "Through cutting-edge deployments like the CHIP House, we are providing an inspiring vision for a sustainable future. Hanwha Solar is proud to accelerate the path to a clean energy future by providing reliable, high quality solar modules that are being deployed at massive commercial scale today."

CHIP’s progressive design was made possible through a transformative gift from Hanwha Solar—who was principal sponsor and exclusive solar module supplier for the SCI-Arc/Caltech team during the Decathlon. The house was equipped with 45 solar panels to power it through the entire duration of the competition and won first place in the Energy Balance contest. In temperate Los Angeles, CHIP’s panels generate three times more electricity than what the home uses—enough to power two electric cars along with the lighting, appliances, and heating and cooling systems. Most notably, the solar panels power an Xbox Kinect motion-sensitive video game system that has been turned into a master command center, allowing residents to turn lights and appliances on and off simply by pointing at them. A 3-D camera also sees occupants of the house and can automatically turn lights on and off as they move from space to space. This motion-sensitive technology allows residents to interface with their home in a more fluid, intuitive way.

The exhibition of the SCI-Arc/Caltech Hanwha Solar CHIP House at the California Science Center is made possible through generous support from Hanwha Solar and The Vinyl Institute. Additional sponsors of CHIP include NREL, Southern California Edison, U.S. Department of Energy, Dow Chemical, Resnick Institute, Peter Cross, Bosch, Tim and Neda Disney, among others. For more information and a video walkthrough of the house, visit