Energy Contest (100 points)
The Energy Contest of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 evaluated each team's energy production and a theoretical value to a utility of the energy they both contributed to and took from the Solar Decathlon electricity grid.
For energy production, a team received full points for producing at least as much energy as its house needed, thus achieving a net energy consumption of zero during the competition.
The energy value component of the Energy Contest is designed to mimic the arrangement a consumer with a solar-powered house may have with a utility, including a net-metering agreement and time-of-use electricity rates. Time-of-use rates are typically based on the idea that electricity is in greater demand, and thus more expensive, during the times of day that temperatures are highest, and most people are awake and at home using significant electricity.
Each team began the competition with a $5.00 charge on their "account" to represent the fixed costs of utility connection. Over the course of the competition, each team could accrue additional charges at different rates, depending on the time of day, for net consumption of electricity from the Solar Decathlon grid. Each team also could be "credited" different amounts, depending on the time of day, for net production of electricity they provided back to the Solar Decathlon grid. Teams earned full points if they finished the competition with a credit of $10.00 or more.
For complete information, see the Solar Decathlon 2017 rules. Solar Decathlon teams should always refer to the rules.
The final measurements for the Energy Balance Contest are shown in the graphic below. Roll over each graphic with your mouse for detailed measurement information.