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Solar Decathlon Blog - Solar Decathlon Europe

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

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.

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Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences Wins Solar Decathlon Europe Engineering and Construction Contest

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Germans and French ran away with the prestigious Engineering and Construction contest at Solar Decathlon Europe today. Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences was awarded first place, and Arts et Métiers Paris Tech took second.  A two-way tie was announced for third between the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim and Ecole National Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble.

The jury members had high praise for the engineering excellence exhibited by all the teams and said even they learned a lot. They also said they were impressed by how many teams focused on the goal of “doing more with less.” That is the real challenge today for engineers, they said. (more…)

U.S. Ambassador Solomont Visits Solar Decathlon Europe

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Today at 11 a.m., U.S. Ambassador to Spain Alan Solomont visited Solar Decathlon Europe.

Much to the delight of the U.S. teams, Ambassador Solomont toured the University of Florida house and then the Virginia Tech house. The ambassador also visited two Spanish teams: the Universidad de Sevilla and the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera. Finally, he visited Tongji University’s Bamboo House. Ambassador Solomont praised the students and faculty and was very impressed by their work. He spent more than an hour and a half touring the houses. (more…)

University of Florida Wins Communications and Social Awareness Contest at Solar Decathlon Europe

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The award ceremonies continue in Solar Decathlon Europe’s Villa Solar. This afternoon, the Communications and Social Awareness award was presented to the University of Florida for its solar house, RE:FOCUS.

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Virginia Tech Retains Solar Decathlon Europe Lead

Monday, June 21, 2010

As of 7 p.m. Monday, Virginia Tech remains in first place overall at Solar Decathlon Europe because of its third-place finish in the Industrialization and Market Viability contest. The Industrialization and Market Viability announcement was made at 5 p.m. today. The Virginia Tech decathletes were extremely happy to again place in the top three in a major contest. (more…)

Virginia Tech Takes the Lead at Solar Decathlon Europe

Monday, June 21, 2010

Virginia Tech is in first place at Solar Decathlon Europe—and it was judged first in the Architecture contest! What a busy weekend for the Virginia decathletes. They worked their way up from third place on Saturday to take first place Sunday based on solid performance in the measured contests. Lumenhaus has performed almost perfectly so far. (more…)

European Union Ministers Visit Solar Decathlon Europe

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday evening around 8 p.m., we had a special treat: a visit by 27 European Union ministers of housing! The ministers are in Madrid for a meeting of the European Union, so they took some time to visit Solar Decathlon Europe.

The village again had to be cleared for a security sweep, but the teams were happy to have such special visitors—especially so many at one time!

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.

Future Decathlete Brings New Perspective to Solar Decathlon Europe

Friday, June 18, 2010

As the first day of competition week of Solar Decathlon Europe begins, there is a rush of decathletes and organizers on the already sunny grounds below the Royal Palace to get the houses ready to compete and to prepare for visitors. Busy city workers help lay out the last patches of mulch and gravel to shape the team lots. Students perform very Solar Decathon-typical chores as they mop off dust from PV panels and start positioning themselves to receive the crowds. (more…)

If You Build It, They Will Come

Friday, June 18, 2010

The real measure of success is: If you build it, will they come? This is the first time a Solar Decathlon is being held in Madrid, so one never really knows if the people will like it until the doors open to public visits on the first day. At 11 a.m., people were waiting to get into the village, and it wasn’t long before lines of people were waiting to get inside the houses. It is very gratifying to see the public interest. I assume, because today is Friday, we will see larger crowds this weekend. Congratulations to everyone involved. The hard work and dedication has produced a successful event!

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Prince Felipe Visits Solar Decathlon Europe

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Prince Felipe de Borbon, son of King Juan Carlos of Spain, visited the Solar Decathlon Europe village today at 6 p.m. He personally greeted each team and toured four houses.

Prince Felipe lifted the spirits of all the teams with his sincere interest and congratulatory well wishes and words of encouragement. During his visit, he shook the hand of every student and faculty member and wished them well. After a photo with many decathletes, he said goodbye about 7 p.m.

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.

Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 Opens With Ceremony and Celebration

Thursday, June 17, 2010

As the sun rose brightly over the Villa Solar, I could feel the excitement building among the decathletes—for in just a few hours, the first Solar Decathlon Europe would have its historic opening. After last-minute cleaning up, decathletes emerged from their houses dressed in team uniforms and lined up in front of the stage. (more…)

Stuttgart Is First Team To Qualify for Competition in Solar Decathlon Europe

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

As dusk fell Wednesday evening on the Solar Decathlon Europe Villa Solar, Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences became the first team to finish building its house and have it ready for visitors. The University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim followed closely behind. Both German teams were jubilant and glad to finally have time to rest and appreciate their accomplishments.

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.

Solar Decathlon Europe Teams Race to Finish Assembly

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The final stretch. Today is the last day for assembly at Solar Decathlon Europe. All houses must be completed, inspected, and connected to the power grid by this evening, or they cannot score points on the first day of competition. Some teams, such as Virginia Tech and Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, are finished, but others, including the the University of Florida and the Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluña, still have a lot of work to do. I had dinner with a couple of the Florida team members last night, and they were upbeat about their prospects. As soon as Florida finishes its decking—hopefully today—it will be ready. (more…)

Construction Intensifies at Solar Decathlon Europe

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The pace has really picked up today at Solar Decathlon Europe. Teams are working double-time because only 35 hours of construction time remain. The opening ceremony will begin Thursday morning at 11 a.m. to officially open the Villa Solar.

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Solar Decathlon Europe Poses New Challenges for Electricity Production

Monday, June 14, 2010

The best part of the Solar Decathlon Europe assembly period is the continual surprises as the designs are revealed. Some of the new things I saw today were:

  • The Universidad de Sevilla’s (Spain) solar chimney with ceramic tubes for natural cooling
  • Stuttgart University’s (Germany) exquisite multicolored photovoltaic side walls
  • The Ecole National Superieure d’Architecture de Grenoble’s (France) stucco walls, which were hand-applied by one of the best tradesmen in Japan
  • The Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera’s (Spain) parabolic solar collectors, which heat transfer fluid to cook food in the oven.

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