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MorningStar Systems Partners

Technology and Products

Thank you MorningStar systems partners! Without your contributions, the MorningStar Solar Home could not have become a reality.

Solar energy is intimately connected to weather. The 2007 team worked with AccuWeather to find creative ways to use weather forecasts to manage energy production and use in our home.

Anderson Windows and Doors.

Quality and affordable windows are an important component of energy efficient home design. Anderson windows helped the team to find high quality windows for the MorningStar Montana home.

Atlantic Energy Systems.

Atlantis produces "slate" tiles that include integral Sharp photovoltaic panels. Atlantis helped the team explore how to integrate solar slates with traditional Pennsylvania slate roof tiles.

Automated Logic Corporation.

Control systems have great potential to reduce heating and cooling costs. Automated Logic served as an expert advisor to our team to develop the control system for the home.

BP Solar.

A leader in affordable solar technology, BP Solar worked with our team to find efficient and affordable solar panels for our main array.

Solar Strategies.

Don Bradley of Solar Strategies, Inc. is an experienced builder of solar homes in Pennsylvania. Don was a whole house designing partner for the Solar Decathlon.


Carrier makes a line of high performance heat pumps and energy recovery ventilators. Carrier worked closely with the team to select equipment that was appropiate for the home's design.


Durability and resource efficiency are important criteria for a sustainable home design. CertainTeed provided the team with a unique cement board siding product made with fly-ash, a by-product of coal burning power plants.


Windows are important features of any home, but they result in costly heat loss during cold Pennsylvania winters. Duo-Gard helped to engineer custom glazing for the home that is energy efficient and that glows with LED lighting.


Flexibility is a critical strategy for creating small and functional spaces. Hafele provided the team with unique hardware that allows the home to be easily reconfigured.


Heat Pump water heaters are very efficient at making hot water from electricity. Havtech provided the heat pump water heater used in the MorningStar home which serves as a back-up system in times when solar energy is insufficient.


Honeywell provides an advanced line of mechanical products. Honeywell generously donated all of the equipment and supplies for the hot water heating and control system for our marketable prototype home in Montana.

Johnson Controls.

Sensors and monitoring equipment are vital to the home's role as a laboratory. Johnson Controls provided the team with temperature and humidity sensors.


Krentzman is a local vendor of mechanical equipment and supplies who helped the team find all the knick knacks needed to connect the equipment and hot water systems. They have also recently begun to carry solar power equipment.

Lezzer Lumber.

Prefabricated wood framed walls are an efficient technique to frame houses. Lezzer provided the team with prefabricated wall panels and general building materials.


Advance lighting controls have great potential to save energy. Lutron helped the team to design a beautiful, flexible, and energy efficient lighting system for our home.

Mid State Battery.

Energy storage is an important feature of solar energy systems. Mid State Battery is a local vendor specializing in the design of battery packs for a variety of applications. They helped the team design the battery array for a dedicated DC-LED lighting system.

Mike's Video.

Appliances are large sources of energy use. Mike's Video is a local vendor that offers excellent service and advice on appliance selection and maintenance. Mike's helped the team to select and commission high quality energy efficient appliances.

Miller Welding.

Steel framing can help to create versatile and open spaces. Miller welding helped the team to fabricate the steel frame and custom steel elements of the home.

MorningStar Corporation.

Dedicated DC power systems have great potential to make more efficient use of solar energy by eliminating the inefficient conversion to AC power. Morningstar helped the team engineer an experimental dedicated DC power system for the home that is used for LED lighting inside and outside the home.

New Age Solar.

New Age Solar participated in the installation of the PV slates that create the power for our dedicated DC/LED lighting system. This was the first application of solar slates on a vertical surface.


Local vendors and installers of green technologies are valuable assets. PBCI Allen helped the team select the right components for the mechanical equipment and distribution systems.

Recycle Bank.

Recycle Bank provides unique turn-key recycling programs that help create financial incentives for recycling.

Penn State Office of Physical Plant.

The Penn State Office of Physical Plant helped the team in every step of the Solar Decathlon journey with valuable advice about building codes and frequent visits to the site. OPP has also helped secure financing for the home!


Grid connected solar electric systems are the most cost effective. SMA helped to design a system that simulated a grid connection for the Solar Decathlon which now functions as a permanent grid connected system with the home located at Penn State.

Southland Industries.

The integration of design and construction is critical in mechanical systems. Southland Industries advised the team on the design and procurement of the mechanical system. Southland also helped the team to commission the home on the National Mall.

Square D.

The MorningStar has four different PV arrays supporting two individual power systems. Square D, a Schneider Electric Company, was instrumental in providing conductors, electrical panels, disconnects, and electrical supplies for the MorningStar home.

Stark Environmental.

Much energy is used in the US to supply and treat water. Stark Environmental is a leader in rain water catchment systems, and helped the team to capture rain water for use in gardens and inside the home.

Staraya Tech.

Staraya Tech has generously donated Solar Bricks for use in the landscaping around the MorningStar home. The roughly six inch square bricks are durable and easy to install and come in a variety of colors.

Sun Spot Solar.

Solar hot water collection is an important technology with a fast payback. Sun Spot Solar generously donated high performance evacuated tube hot water heaters for the team to use on both of the homes.

Sunrise Homes.

Sunrise homes is based in State College, PA and has helped us secure many donated products from vendors. Sunrise is interested in how to provide green choices for their customers.

The Hite Company

With six power supplies to manage, and both AC and DC systems, the home is jammed with electrical equipment. The Hite Company and Square D provided generous donations and advice to the team every step of the way.


Panelized wall systems offer high quality insulating walls that can be assembled quickly. Murus provided advanced polyurathane SIPs for the team, made right here in Pennsylvania.


The design team needed a striking and color-fast cladding system to highlight the architecture of the utility core. Trespa is a beautiful blue, high recycled content and durable material to clad the home.


Decking materials take a beating in the climate of PA. Trex provided the team with Trex durable and beautiful decking and lumber that will be maintenance free and will last for years.

Truland Systems.

The team was fortunate to have the help in the design and construction of the power system in the home. Truland was instrumental in the assembly and commissioning of the home on the National Mall in DC.