Solar Decathlon is a great first step towards bringing cutting edge Solar Power House technologies to market.
What is Solar Decathlon?
Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition sponsored and organized by the US Department of Energy in Washington DC since 2002. It showcases latest cutting edge Solar Power Homes designed and built by college students worldwide. The objective is to completely design and built a fully independent Solar Power House. It typically take a college team 1-2 years to do so, hence the biennial frequency of the event. This year’s top 3 winners were:
|First Place: Technische Universität Darmstadt||Second Place: University of Maryland||Third Place: Santa Clara University|
The DOE gives each of the 20 finalist team $100,000 to defray the transportation costs. The key word here is defray, as it can take up to $1 million to actually design, build, and transport these Solar Power Homes to the event. The money typically comes from donations, alumni, and sponsorships.
Solar Decathlon is a fantastic initiative by government to bring Solar Power House market into mainstream
The event is well thought out. The rules ensure that each entry has to prove that solar power homes are practical, livable, and do not involve any sacrifice. Each Solar Power House is 100% off-the-grid, i.e. not connected to the electric utility in any way.
Yet these Solar Power Homes are architectural masterpieces. They are beautiful inside…
|Universidad Politécnica de Madrid||Carnegie Mellon University|
And beautiful outside…
|Texas A&M University||Universidad Politécnica de Madrid|
Every featured Solar Power House can support a typical American family lifestyle; TV for 6 hours/day, computer 5 hours/day, cook meals, dish washing, 2 laundry loads/week, four 15 minute showers/week, temperature around 70-78 degrees, recharge an electric car.
Additionally some of these Solar Power Homes have hot tubs, outdoor hot showers, SubZero refrigerators, mood lighting and luxury home entertainment systems.
In brief, all of these Solar Power Homes are really livable by a typical American household. No sacrifice involved to go green.
For more details go to www.solardecathlon.org
Images: Department of Energy