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Run, Dishwasher, Run!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

By Alexis Powers

The typical college student does about two loads of laundry a week. However, the student decathletes must go above and beyond this amount to earn full points for the Appliances Contest. In this contest, teams prove that their houses are not just energy-efficient but also fully functional.

Photo of towels hung outside on a drying rack.

The Clothes Dryer Subcontest requires decathletes to return eight loads of laundry to their original weight during the contest period. (Credit: Alexis Powers/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The Appliances Contest mimics the use of a refrigerator, freezer, clothes washer, dryer, and dishwasher in the average American home. The teams complete daily tasks to simulate these regular household activities and their associated energy demand.

Teams began earning points for keeping the time-averaged interior temperature of their fridge and freezer within a specified temperature range. The laundry and dishwashing tasks began yesterday and will continue throughout the remainder of the competition period.

Alexis Powers is a member of the Solar Decathlon communications team.

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