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Competition Intensifies at Solar Decathlon Europe

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Too close to call! Virginia Tech had a commanding 35-point lead at Solar Decathlon Europe earlier this week, but the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim has cut that lead to only six points now. With only today and tomorrow left to score performance-based points, everything the teams do—from hot water draws to cooking to washing to cooling their houses—really makes a difference. Every point counts.

The current leaders’ scores are:

Virginia Tech   449
University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim 443
Ecole National Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble 438
Aalto University 413
Bergische Universität Wuppertal 406
University of Florida 396
Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences 395

All the juries have now gone through the houses and made their evaluations. As of today, there are three more subjective contests to be awarded:

Sustainability Thursday at 5 p.m.
Innovation Friday at 9 p.m.
Solar Systems and Hot Water   Sunday at 7 p.m.

The organizers are holding the last announcement (Solar Systems and Hot Water) until just before the final, overall award ceremony to provide drama and excitement. As you can see, this competition is still too close to call.

The people’s choice award will be announced Saturday evening, so if you haven’t voted for your favorite team yet, you are running out of time! You can vote at

On another note, as we move into the final days of competition, it has become hot! We started out with rain and cool temperatures, but now it is very hot and sunny. Every day has brought perfectly clear, cloudless skies. The teams have been producing large surpluses of electricity. The city of Madrid is happy to have all the extra power!

Richard King is the director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. Throughout the Solar Decathlon Europe competition, U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon organizers are reporting from Madrid.

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