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Solar Decathlon Blog - Solar Decathlon Europe 2010

Below you will find Solar Decathlon news from the Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 archive, sorted by date.

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.


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.


Avanzada de Cataluña Wows With PV Innovation

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluña house is capturing a lot of excitement at Solar Decathlon Europe. Now, all of the large sections of the house have been assembled and placed.

According to the team’s faculty advisor, Vincente Guallart, the team found a Spanish company to make flexible PV modules using 22%-efficient SunPower cells. On Saturday, a vice president of SunPower visited the team to check on progress. The vice president was excited and intrigued that someone could make a flexible module using the rigid cells. There are 21 cells in series for each module. The flexible material could have been clear, but the team chose black.

Byron Stafford is the site operations manager 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.

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Director Richard King Reports From Solar Decathlon Europe

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Solar Decathlon Europe is spectacular, wonderful, amazing, and awesome. The teams of students and faculty are just wonderful to talk to, and the homes they are building are even more brilliant than anything we have seen at past events.  Maybe it’s the fifth generation, maybe it’s the Spanish rules, or maybe it’s the international diversity, but Solar Decathlon Europe is sure to be historic in terms of showcasing what the state of the art is around the world.  I am trying to put into words what my jet-lagged brain is trying to say, and hopefully more will become clear as the event progresses, but to bring together the best thinking from around the world must be significant. We are all looking for solutions, and to bring all these ideas together in a competitive melting pot so we can all learn from each other—you just have to believe progress is being accelerated. (more…)

Day 5: Solar Decathlon Europe Teams Prepare for Electrical Connections

Friday, June 11, 2010

There was a distinct shift in the types of construction activities at Solar Decathlon Europe today, Day 5, June 11. All of the teams have received and placed their large house sections on their lots. The University of Florida received its second and last house section this morning. By 10 a.m., it was hard to tell that Florida was delayed several days getting its oversized house sections to its lot. (more…)

Day 4: Villa Solar Under Construction Along the River

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Construction of the Solar Decathlon Europe houses continued today, June 10. Progress is evident every day. (more…)

Thinking Outside the Box (An International Shipping Container)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

By Amy Vaughn

All overseas teams that have competed in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon have shipped their house sections in an international shipping container or made their house section the same size as one. This is very convenient because handling, lifting, and moving an international shipping container is relatively easy and no extra paperwork is required for transport on public roads.


University of Florida Moves to Villa Solar

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

After several days and many challenges, the University of Florida finally placed its first, and largest, house section on its lot late in the night on Day 3. The team had shipped its parts and subassemblies to a construction site about 25 km away from the Villa Solar. Working weeks before the opening ceremony, the team constructed two large house sections. Although the team is now several days behind schedule, it should quickly make up that lost time. The smaller house section should be placed soon.

Despite the rain, all of the teams are progressing well on the construction of their houses.

Byron Stafford is the site operations manager 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.

Rain Falls While Construction Progresses in the Villa Solar

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Imagine having to work all day and night outside in cold rain. The Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 competitors are working in these conditions on the third day of assembly. With rain forecast through Sunday, the teams will have to get used to constructing their houses in the rain. But most would prefer the rain now than during the competition, when they’ll need sunshine to power their houses. (more…)

Construction Continues at Solar Decathlon Europe

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

With big trucks rolling onto the Villa Solar throughout the night, the Solar Decathlon Europe competition site is quickly taking shape. Many team sites contain houses that are already half built. Others are still nearly empty lots. The Tianjin and Helsinki houses are currently stuck in cargo containers in the port of Valencia, Spain, which is experiencing a strike. Solar Decathlon Europe organizers are working with Spanish government officials to get the containers released. In the meantime, these teams wait and watch their competitors hard at work.


Assembly Begins at Solar Decathlon Europe

Monday, June 7, 2010

About 200 decathletes and organizers gathered in Madrid today to kick off Solar Decathlon Europe 2010. Unfortunately, the international economic crisis has hit Solar Decathlon Europe hard, and three of the original 20 teams (Valencia, Mexico, and Brazil) had to drop out of the competition. Following team registration and a welcome meeting, the 17 remaining teams rushed off to begin construction.




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