20 Solar Homes Take Shape for the Solar Decathlon
The assembly of 20 solar homes on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is rapidly approaching completion, as the 2009 Solar Decathlon prepares to open, free to the public, on October 9th. Trucks rolled onto the National Mall just after midnight on the morning of October 1, and since then, the teams have been steadily working to assemble their solar homes.
The Solar Decathlon is an international event in which DOE challenges university teams to design and build homes that run entirely on solar energy. The teams ship their partially constructed homes to the National Mall, assemble them, and then compete in ten contests.
Each home will be monitored for its performance in five areas relating to performance and livability: comfort (maintaining comfortable temperature and humidity in the home), hot water (producing a sufficient quantity at a high enough temperature), appliances (such as keeping refrigerated items at the right temperature), home entertainment (running a television, computer, lights, and other devices), and net metering. For the net metering competition, homes must use zero net energy over the course of a week, and teams receive a bonus for producing more energy than their home consumes. Other contests rate the teams for their communications with the public and for the architecture, engineering, and market viability of their homes. The overall winner will be announced on October 16.
Over 800 student competitors from the United States, Canada, Spain and Germany will compete in this year's Solar Decathlon.
[Read More via Dept of Energy]