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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

Solar Decathlon Blog - Competition

Below you will find Solar Decathlon news from the Competition archive, sorted by date.

Stevens Wins Solar Decathlon 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015

By Carol Laurie

Stevens Institute of Technology won top honors overall at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 by designing, building, and operating the most cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar powered house.

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, took second place followed by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in third place.

Stevens’ win comes as no surprise to followers of the competition, as the team took first place in four of five juried contests and maintained the lead position in the competition over the last several days. Stevens Institute of Technology previously competed in Solar Decathlon 2011 and Solar Decathlon 2013.

Stevens Institute of Technology team members celebrate their overall 1st place victory at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015, October 17, 2015 at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Stevens Institute of Technology team members celebrate their overall first-place victory at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

At today’s awards ceremony, Energy Department Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Dr. David Danielson congratulated all decathletes on their accomplishments during the 2015 competition.

“On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, thank you to each inspiring student competitor,” said Danielson. “Your hard work makes this unique competition possible. The homes you built demonstrate how affordable, renewable, and energy-saving products available today can cut energy bills, reduce pollution, and protect our climate. You have shown the skills and dedication necessary to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout our economy in the decades to come.”

Announcement of the overall winners followed exciting results of the Engineering Contest, in which Stevens took first place with a score of 93 of 100 possible points. Close behind with 92 points for second place was the hometown favorite Team Orange County (University of California, Irvine; Chapman University; Irvine Valley College; and Saddleback College). Texas/Germany (The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen) took third place with 91 points.

Full details about these results, scores, and standings are available here.

Come check out the winning houses for yourself! Tomorrow is the final day of public exhibit here at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The Solar Decathlon village is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Sunday.

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

Stevens Leads After Taking First in Three of Four Juried Contests

Friday, October 16, 2015

By Carol Laurie

At the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015, Stevens Institute of Technology holds the lead after placing first in Market Appeal, Architecture, and Communications.

Stevens’ SURE HOUSE, a sustainable and resilient house for shore residents vulnerable to extreme weather conditions that could cause flooding and blackouts, earned 96 points to win the Architecture Contest.

“The Stevens design stacks up very favorably against many homes designed by seasoned architectural teams, and in fact outstrips the vast majority of U.S. houses when it comes to energy performance,” said Architecture Contest juror Ann Edminster, a leading international expert on green homes and chair of the Green Building Task Force for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation of North America. “The love of community that drove this design inspired a highly effective collaboration, in turn giving rise to an exceptionally well-integrated final product that will benefit both the occupants and their larger community.”

Photo of a group of people cheering.

Stevens Institute of Technology celebrates after winning the Communications Contest at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The Solar Decathlon involves 10 contests – each worth 100 points – for a possible competition total of 1,000 points.

Other juried contest results announced over the last two days include:

Affordability – The University of California, Davis, and Mass/Central America (Western New England University, Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá, and Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana) tied for first place and earned the full 100 points by constructing houses estimated to cost $249,312 and $120,282, respectively. Texas/Germany (The University of Texas at Austin and Technische Universitaet Muenchen) earned second place with 98.16 points for their house estimated to cost $268,399. Third place went to the State University of New York at Alfred College of Technology and Alfred University with 98.14 points for its house estimated to cost $268,637.

Market Appeal – California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, took second place with 93 points for its house designed for coastal California, and Clemson University took third place with 96 points for its Indigo Pine house, which assembles like a jigsaw puzzle without the use of power tools.

Architecture – Clemson University claimed second place with 95 points, and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California, took third place with 94 points.

Communications – Clemson University finished second with 90 points, followed by the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York, in third place with 89 points.

Full details about these results, scores, and standings are available here.

Tomorrow is the big day! Results from the Engineering Contest and the overall winner of the Solar Decathlon will be announced at 9:45 a.m. PDT by Energy Department Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Dr. David Danielson.

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

Time to Shine

Saturday, October 10, 2015

By Richard King

“Time to shine” is our theme. I think it is very appropriate for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

Time is important to all of us. Especially since a lifetime is rather short when compared to all of human history. There are only a few times in your life that are truly memorable, and we all want to have the “time of our lives.”

The Solar Decathlon 2015 decathletes invested a huge amount of time to build their houses. They invested more time to reassemble them here in California. That invested time has benefits that will pay dividends for the rest of their lifetimes. And ours.

Photo of a young man speaking to a group of people.

Nate Heckman (center) of University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, gives a tour of the GRoWlarium, which is a combination solarium and green house at Solar Decathlon 2015. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

I like shine because the sun shines on us every day. And because the Solar Decathlon gives decathletes an opportunity to show the public their incredible work on a national stage. Solar decathletes are shining examples to us all.

It’s time to shine! Come be inspired by these amazing students and their houses. Visit the Solar Decathlon at the Orange County Great Park. We’re open tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and we reopen during the same hours next Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 14-18. I hope to see you soon!

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

First Points

Friday, October 9, 2015

By Richard King

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 competition started yesterday at 11 a.m., giving teams nine days (until 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16) to prove they have the best house and a winning team.

The 10 Solar Decathlon contests are each worth 100 points for a total of 1,000 points. The first contest in which teams can start winning points is Contest 7: Appliances. Teams must turn on their refrigerator and freezer and keep them running consistently at specified temperatures for the entire nine days. To win the most points in Contest 7, the decathletes need to learn how to use all of their appliances (refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, cooktops, clothes washers and dryers) most efficiently.

Photo of two men weighing towels on a scale.

Decathletes from the University of California, Davis, Solar Decathlon 2015 team weigh towels for the Appliances Contest after they were washed and dried in their competition house on Friday, Oct. 9. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Teams receive 20 points for running their refrigerator and freezer optimally for the nine days. Each hour increment is worth one-half point. It will take a while, but by Oct. 16, the points should add up to 20.

Last night, the University of Buffalo held the lead, based primarily on the use of the team’s refrigerator and freezer.

Check out the scores and standings on our website, which are updated every 15 minutes.

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

Energy Secretary Opens Solar Decathlon Village

Thursday, October 8, 2015

By Carol Laurie

To the cheers of hundreds of student decathletes, Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz brandished a pair of giant scissors and cut a ceremonial ribbon to open the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 village. The competition and public exhibit have begun!

Photo of a large group of people standing behind a ribbon falling away from a pair of giant scissors.

Dr. Ernest Moniz, secretary, U.S. Department of Energy (center) cuts the ribbon to officially open the Solar Decathlon 2015 village. Joining him are (left to right) Gaddi Vasquez, senior VP of Edison International; Serge Goldenberg, senior VP of Schneider International; Richard King, director of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon; Christine Shea, council member for Irvine, California; Mary Wenzel, senior VP for Wells Fargo; Beth Krom, council member for Irvine, California; and Lynn Schott, council member for Irvine, California. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Opening day began with a photo of Solar Decathlon 2015 student team members, followed by the opening ceremony, which took place in historic Hangar 244 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. Moniz’s keynote speech provided inspiration to the teams.

Aerial photo of a large group of people.

Teams cheer in front of the Solar Decathlon village during an all-team photo on opening day of the 2015 competition at the Orange County Great Park, Irvine, California. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Speakers included Solar Decathlon Director Richard King, representatives from top-level sponsors Edison International, Schneider Electric, and Wells Fargo; and the City of Irvine City Council. The fun began when Moniz and King introduced the teams, whose excitement spread throughout the room.

Photo of a group of people stacking their hands on top of each other.

Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz is surrounded by team members from the University of California, Davis, during the Solar Decathlon 2015 opening ceremony. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

“These teams have been working hard for two years and they’re ecstatic to finally reach this moment,” says King. “To top it off, the Secretary of Energy told the students how important their work is designing, building, and operating these solar houses and how they’re going to be the next generation of energy leaders.”

With the Solar Decathlon village now open to visitors, Moniz toured houses of several teams: California State University, Sacramento; Missouri University of Science and Technology; Stevens Institute of Technology; and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Not only is the village open, but today also marks the first day of the competition. Follow along, check out the team scores over the next eight days, and see who wins on October 18!

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

 

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