This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
DOE Sets the Date for the 2007 Solar Decathlon
DOE announced on April 30th that the third Solar Decathlon competition will be held from October 12th through the 20th in Washington, D.C. The event requires university teams to build and operate energy-efficient solar-powered homes on the National Mall, forming a temporary "solar village." In January 2006, DOE selected 20 teams to participate in the competition, and all 20 are still in the running. The increasingly international competition includes teams from the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Spain, and, for the first time, Germany. Sixteen teams represent universities in 13 states: California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
As the name implies, the Solar Decathlon judges the homes in ten areas, including architecture, engineering, livability, comfort, power generation for space heating and cooling, water heating, and powering lights and appliances. Each home must produce enough net energy to power an electric car. The homes will include the latest high-tech energy solutions without sacrificing comfort, convenience, and aesthetics. The teams will partially build their entries on or near their campuses and then ship the entries to Washington, D.C., for final assembly, a necessity that creates extra challenges for the teams from the West, Puerto Rico, and Europe.
The homes will be displayed on the National Mall for nine days. Visitors can tour the homes daily (except for Wednesday, October 17th) and visit with the teams to learn about the design and construction techniques. The 2002 and 2005 competitions drew more than 100,000 visitors to the solar village; the University of Colorado won the overall competition both years. See the DOE press release and the Solar Decathlon Web site.