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Solar Decathlon Blog - Competition

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

Opening Day: Seen and Heard

Thursday, October 5, 2017

“We realized only one of our two panels was producing power, so we had to troubleshoot. We fixed the wiring and were all set.”
— Bill Bach, team leader, Northwestern University

Students from Northwestern University get their solar panels competition-ready for the first day that teams can log points in Solar Decathlon 2017. (Credit: Jack Dempsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)
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U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Brouillette Cuts Ribbon, Kicks Off Solar Decathlon 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Collegiate Teams Showcase Innovative Solar Houses in International Competition

 

Visit our media resources page and download our online media kit and b-roll package to help you cover the event.

DENVER, CO – Eleven teams involving hundreds of collegiate students from the United States and Europe have assembled at the 61st and Peña Station in Denver, Colorado, to showcase their highly energy-efficient, innovation-packed solar houses for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 (see photos here). This signature Energy Department event is making its debut in Denver after successful runs in Washington, D.C., and Orange County, California. Today’s opening ceremony, headlined by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, kicked off the highly anticipated international competition that shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable energy products that are available today.

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It Takes a Village … to Build a Solar Village

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

By Alexis Powers

Assembly of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 solar village is winding down as teams put the finishing touches on their competition houses. With only a couple days before the event opens to the public and scoring officially begins, now seems like the perfect time to reflect on the organizations that helped make this year’s Solar Decathlon possible.

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Is That the Sun I See!?! Yes!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

By Ruby Nahan

One week from today, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 officially opens to the public and the teams start earning points! In addition to forecasted sunnier weather, we’re looking forward to seeing all the smiling sunny faces of the people who come to our Opening Ceremony next Thursday, October 5, starting at 9:30 a.m. Be sure to check out our Visit information so you can join us at the 61st and Peña Station on the University of Colorado A line commuter rail, just one stop from Denver International Airport.

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They Build Through Rain, Sleet, Snow or Hail … (But, Hopefully Only Rain)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

By Ruby Nahan

Despite the overcast skies, rain, and mud, there’s nothing but sunny dispositions at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017!

Teams arrived on site for an all-teams meeting and began assembly of their houses three days ago, on Saturday, September 23 (see our video for highlights). Pretty soon thereafter, it started to rain. Seems we hit an off week in Denver’s rumored 300 days of sun per year. But in the words of our brilliant building code official, Tom Meyers, “Weather. It’s the hidden 11th contest of the Solar Decathlon!”

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12 Solar-Powered Houses You’ll See at Solar Decathlon 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

By Mike Mueller 

Editor’s Note: This entry has been cross-posted from EERE’s Energy blog.

One month from now, a solar-powered village will suddenly appear in Denver, Colorado, showcasing the latest innovation in building science and design. From modular construction to water conservation and re-use strategies, this year’s crop of Solar Decathlon houses has it all when it comes to technology, design and creativity.

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The Many Fates of Former Solar Decathlon Houses

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

By Linda Silverman

Compelling. That’s what the stories behind the Solar Decathlon represent to me. Normally, I am focused on the current competition – working with the university teams and our partners to host the Energy Department’s largest public event showcasing student-built solar houses. But lately, I’ve had the chance to learn more about where the 2013 and 2015 competition houses ended up as part of a major website update. That’s why I’m proud to say our Where are the Houses Now historical archive now covers the fate of all past U.S. Solar Decathlon competition houses from 2002 to 2015.

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Bark Twice if Your Dog Wants to Go Solar

Thursday, May 25, 2017

By Alexis Powers

The Solar Decathlon has inspired many design competitions over the past 15 years, among them the Energy Department’s Collegiate Wind Competition, Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Tiny House Competition, the Alliance for Green Heat’s Wood Stove Design Challenge, and EmPower’s Solar Student Competition. But we’ve never seen anything quite like this before.

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Real World Projects for Hardworking Students

Friday, March 31, 2017

By Joe Simon

The most interesting and challenging questions don’t have a single right answer. Sure, 2 + 2 = 4. Everyone learns that in school. But what is the best design for a livable home powered entirely by the sun that can be transported anywhere in the world and assembled in just a few days? Solar Decathlon competitions worldwide have netted 274 different-yet-correct answers to this question since it was first posed in 2002. (more…)

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. (more…)

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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!

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Get Ready for Solar Decathlon 2015!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

By Carol Laurie

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 opens to the public on Oct. 8—just over a week away. Whether you’re coming from far away or nearby Southern California, it’s time to plan your visit.

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