Santa Clara University Wins for Off-Grid Tiny House with Aquion Batteries

by Claire Juozitis

If there’s one thing we’ve always had in America, it’s space. As the saying goes: “100 miles in Europe is a long way, 100 years in America is a long time.” Hundreds of years ago, this desire for room to grow resulted in the “sea to shining sea” mantra. In modern times, it has meant larger and larger homes: the average home in the US is over 2,600 square feet. This is a sizeable expansion from the average of about 1,700 square feet in 1978, despite the average family size becoming smaller.

These rapid changes have led to a new social and architectural movement called the tiny house movement. Tiny houses are designed for simple living in an efficient space— most of them are under 500 square feet. Despite the lack of extra room, tiny homes can be very livable and provide a number of advantages like mobility, life simplification and major cost savings.

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A tiny house, powered by Aquion batteries. Credit: 

However, one of the most important qualities of tiny homes is how simple it is to use 100% renewable energy and go off the grid. Equipping a tiny home with a (tiny) solar energy storage system is a perfect match, as many tiny homes are located in remote areas or travel around to different places.

Recently, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District hosted a Tiny House Competition, challenging teams of students in California to design net zero energy homes. The tiny houses were were scored in four categories: Architecture, Communications, Energy, and Home Life. The final winner was Santa Clara University!

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Santa Clara University's winning rEvolve House. Credit:

Santa Clara University students worked for two years to design and build their tiny home, called the rEvolve House. The rEvolve house is approximately 240 sq. ft. and was designed to be short-term, low-cost housing for veterans. While the team scored highly in every category, they most notably outranked the competition in the Energy category. The home was designed to function completely off-grid with solar power— it even has a tracking ring that allows the entire house to revolve as the sun changes position overhead! Even better, the Santa Clara team decided to use Aquion saltwater batteries for energy storage because they are the only batteries in the world to be Cradle to Cradle Certified™. Congratulations to the team, and thanks for choosing our batteries!

Aquion batteries have been installed in tiny houses before (check out @limechili777 on instagram for more). Our Aspen battery series is ideal for off-grid residential applications, like tiny houses, and will charge from solar during the day, and discharge stored solar at night. The batteries are resilient, maintenance-free, and perform best when used for daily deep cycling. Plus, they require no special safety measures— you won’t run the risk of a toxic chemical leak, fire, or explosion when using Aquion batteries. That will put your mind at ease whether your tiny house is deep in the woods, or out in the desert.

Living off the grid isn't so hard when you have energy storage. 

Download our Project Spotlight to see how one homeowner is using Aquion batteries to supply their home with power in a pristine area of California. 

redwood gate off-grid residential


Topics: Off Grid, Residential, Awards

Written by
Claire Juozitis
Claire is a Digital Marketing Associate at Aquion Energy. She specializes in digital marketing & strategy for technology startups.
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