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Solar Decathlon 2015 Kicks Off With Irvine Workshop

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

By Carol Laurie

The countdown begins! On Jan. 9 and 10, some 250 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 students, faculty, and organizers gathered in Irvine, California, for a workshop that served as the backdrop for a weekend of comradery and intense information download.

Photo of a large group of cheering people in front of a balloon and holding a banner that reads, “U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.”

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 teams gather at the Orange County Great Park on Friday, Jan. 9, for an all-team photo. (Credit: Amy Vaughn/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

On Friday, Jan. 9, the teams walked the Orange County Great Park competition site, which was marked with chalk lines to indicate the Solar Decathlon village and each team’s lot. That evening, the Great Park Foundation hosted a dinner at which Irvine city council members welcomed the teams and each team presented a 3-minute introduction of its house design and philosophy.

“Mayor Choi and members of the city council got to hear firsthand from our decathletes and see images of their house designs,” said Solar Decathlon Director Richard King. “We are all excited for the competition to begin in October.”

Photo of a man standing behind a podium addressing people seated around tables.

Solar Decathlon Director Richard King addresses an audience of Solar Decathlon 2015 decathletes, faculty, city council members, and organizers at a welcome dinner hosted by the Great Park Foundation on Friday, Jan. 9. (Credit: Amy Vaughn/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The all-day Design Development Review workshop on Saturday, Jan. 10, immersed teams in the details of this challenging collegiate competition to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses. Solar Decathlon organizers held 15 unique sessions—on topics ranging from house designs to cost estimates to communications, media relations, and sponsorships—with each team.

“This intense, all-day workshop helps teams get their heads around what it will take to compete in the Solar Decathlon,” said Joe Simon, competition manager. “With 9 months to go until the start of contests in Irvine, teams must finish planning and start executing their designs.”

The 17 teams participating in Solar Decathlon 2015 include seven teams that have participated in past U.S. competitions. Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon has involved 130 collegiate teams and nearly 20,000 decathletes.

Carol Laurie is the communications manager of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.




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