It’s Almost Time for the 2009 Solar Decathlon


| 9/21/2009 11:17:58 AM


Tags: solar, Solar Decathlon,

Solar Decathlon Urbana 

On the morning of Oct. 1, 2009, 20 student teams from universities across the United States and around the world will crowd onto the lawn of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. They will work around the clock for seven days, compete in 10 contests, and, on the ninth day, guide curious tourists and locals through the results of an endeavor the students have been living for the past two years.

It is the fourth, biyearly Solar Decathlon, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. Student teams apply and prepare at least two years in advance, meticulously constructing their solar-powered homes at their sponsoring universities, then disassembling them, transporting them to D.C. and reassembling them on the National Mall, where they will be judged in the following 10 categories: 

1. Architecture
2. Market Viability
3. Engineering
4. Lighting Design
5. Communications
6. Comfort Zone
7. Hot Water
8. Appliances
9. Home Entertainment
10. Net Metering 

In a recent webinar providing information about the upcoming event and requesting volunteers, Director Richard King shared his enthusiasm about the decathlon, and pointed out that the original motivation for the project was a need to integrate aesthetics with reliable technology. The DOE reached out to architectural universities to develop this possibility. The result is a temporary village consisting of beautiful, structurally sound, energy-efficient homes.  

But the vision doesn’t dim when the houses are disassembled on Oct. 21. King noted that the buildings are always placed in a permanent location after the competition, with many being housed on their sponsoring campuses as educational facilities. 




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