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Photo of Solar Decathlon Director Richard King being interviewed by a videographer.

South China University Takes the Lead at Solar Decathlon China

Friday, August 9, 2013

Richard King

The results of three contests were announced at Solar Decathlon China this morning. Teams gathered in the auditorium of the Sun Palace, and jury members announced the first, second, and third place for Engineering, Communications, and Market Appeal. The results are:

Engineering

  1. University of Wollongong – Australia
  2. South China University of Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology – China
  3. Chalmers University of Technology – Sweden

Communications

  1. Chalmers University of Technology – Sweden
  2. University of Wollongong – Australia
  3. South China University of Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology – China

Market Appeal

  1. South China University of Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology – China
  2. New Jersey Institute of Technology and Harbin Institute of Technology – USA/China (tie)
  1. University of Wollongong – Australia (tie)

As of last night, the team from Tel Aviv University, Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, Neri Bloomfield School of Design and Education, College of Management Academic Studies (Israel) was in first place, but by less than one point. They must have felt good when they went to sleep!

Now, as a result of 300 points being awarded at once, the standings have changed. The team from South China University of Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology is in first place, and Chalmers University of Technology from Sweden is in second. The University of Wollongong from Australia is in third, and the Israeli team is fourth. But there are fewer than 10 points separating them, so this competition is much too close to call.

Photo of the house built by South China University of Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

The team from South China University of Technology and Huazhong University of Science and Technology won first place for Market Appeal and is currently in first place overall.

Two things stand out. As of last night, when the standings reflected only the measured, performance-based contests, 16 of the 19 teams were within 20 points of one another, and the last three were not far behind. That indicates all the houses are performing well, and it is very exciting. Also, more than 100,000 people have visited Solar Decathlon China in four days. With another four days of public tours, more people than ever before will see these houses. It’s so important to prove to them that solar energy works and energy efficiency saves money.

Second, the caliber of Solar Decathlon competitors around the world is rising to new levels. The teams currently leading the competition are from Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Solar Decathlon China is showing that no matter where the houses are designed and built, they can compete on a level playing field. That’s a sign the world is getting technologically smarter in the clean energy field.

Eight months ago, Solar Decathlon China organizers conducted a contest for an event slogan. More than 800 slogans were submitted, and this one won:

Brighten the Future. Harmonize the World.

How prophetic. These teams are doing just that.

Richard King is the director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

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