This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
DOE Solar Decathlon Coming to National Mall
The assembly of 20 solar homes on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is approaching completion, as the 2009 Solar Decathlon prepares to open, free to the public, on October 9th. 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. These challenges include architecture, engineering, market viability, communications, comfort, appliances, water heating, lighting, home entertainment, as well as a special two-part net metering competition, during which teams are not only rated on their energy production, but receive a bonus for producing more energy than their home consumes. The overall winner will be announced on October 16 for this fourth such competition since 2002. See the Solar Decathlon's Contests and Scoring page.
The homes will be open to the public from October 9-13 and 15-18, and will be open for tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Over 800 student competitors from the United States, Canada, Spain, and Germany, who have been designing and building since their teams were chosen two years ago, will compete in this year's competition. Students will have to perform everyday tasks, such as cooking, doing the laundry, and even washing dishes, to test the energy efficiency of their homes. To learn more about the teams, see the Solar Decathlon team page.
DOE is the primary sponsor of the 2009 Solar Decathlon, which is also sponsored and managed by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. See the event schedule and sponsor information on the Solar Decathlon Web site.