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Denver, Colorado
October 5-15, 2017

Archive for September, 2011

Energy Balance Contest Rewards Teams for Producing Only the Energy They Need

Friday, September 23, 2011

By Carol Anna

One of the 10 contests in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, Energy Balance measures the net energy each house produces or consumes over the course of the competition.

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Building Industry Day Spreads the Solar Word

Friday, September 23, 2011

By Alexis Powers

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon welcomed building industry professionals today with a series of workshops held in the Main Tent. Topics included “A Look at Industry Trends in Building Designs,” “Building the Solar Heating and Cooling Industry,” and “The Key to Sustaining Energy-Efficient Behaviors.” (more…)

Video Blog: Opening Ceremony

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Richard King features speakers from today’s U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 Opening Ceremony. (more…)

Opening Ceremony Electrifies Solar Village

Thursday, September 22, 2011

By Alexis Powers

Today’s Opening Ceremony for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 brought the solar village to life. More than 600 students and invited guests attended the event, which featured dignitaries, sponsors, and Solar Decathlon Director Richard King.

Photo of Richard King speaking at a podium.

Richard King addresses the audience at the Opening Ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 22. (Photo from Lachlan Fletcher, Studio 18a)

Arun Majumdar, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), gave a rousing speech to start the program.

“In the future, you leaders will be sitting across the table to figure out how to make this world a better place for your children and your grandchildren,” said Dr. Majumdar. “Let the Solar Decathlon be the start of that personal relationship.”

Senator Robert Menendez was another crowd favorite. After Solar Decathlon 2009, Sen. Menendez put out a challenge to all universities in his home state. Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey and New Jersey Institute of Technology answered his call to action and formed Team New Jersey.

Photo of the Opening Ceremony speakers watching a fellow presenter.

Distinguished speakers (from left: Richard King, Arun Majumdar, Beatriz Corredor, Liang Zhi-peng, and Elisabeth Neigert) listen as Sen. Menendez addresses the audience. (Photo from Lachlan Fletcher, Studio 18a)

Sen. Menendez recognized the many student experts—from architects and engineers to carpenters and pizza wranglers— that come together to create a Solar Decathlon house.

“You’re leading us to a brighter, cleaner, greener, smarter future,” he said.

Other speakers—including Beatriz Corredor from Solar Decathlon Europe, Liang Zhi-peng from Solar Decathlon China, and the generous sustaining sponsors—provided additional congratulations and inspiration to the decathletes. Elisabeth Neigert from the SCI-Arc/Caltech team represented the decathletes in the ceremony’s final speech.

The ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting that officially opened the solar village to VIPs.

“We’re off and running,” said Richard King. As Elisabeth Neigert said, may the best team win!

Photo of the scissors cutting through a ceremonial ribbon with sponsors, dignitaries, and students cheering.

Richard King cuts the ribbon at Solar Decathlon 2011. (Credit: Stefano Paltera/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Alexis Powers is a member of the Solar Decathlon communications team.

Media Previews Solar Village

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

By Carol Anna

Media representatives enjoyed a sneak peek of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 solar village today, one day before the event’s official opening ceremony.

Solar Decathlon Director Richard King led more than 70 journalists from about 40 media outlets through the village, stopping in front of each house, where a student spokesperson gave a brief introduction to his or her team and house.

“The media really turned out to see the village today, which helps the students spread their stories,” Richard said. “We’ve never done a media preview quite like this before, and it was a huge success.”

Among the media present today were The Washington Post, Bloomberg, USA Today, The Huffington Post, Buildapedia, WJLA News Channel 8, WUSA Channel 9, and PBS’ “Nightly Business Report.”

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

Video Blog: End of Assembly

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Director Richard King talks to student team members about the end of assembly in the solar village.

Solar Decathlon Profile: Building Official Tom Meyers

Monday, September 19, 2011

Alexis Powers

Before teams are deemed eligible to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, they must pass a series of inspections to ensure their houses are code-compliant. This makes Tom Meyers a very popular guy during assembly.

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Technology Spotlight: Structural Insulated Panels

Monday, September 19, 2011

Alexis Powers

Editor’s Note: This post is one of a series of technology spotlights that introduces common technologies used in U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon team houses.

Structural insulated panels (SIPs) are prefabricated structural elements used to build walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs. Made of foam insulation sandwiched between two layers of structural board, SIPs provide a more airtight dwelling than a standard stud-frame house. This creates a quieter and more energy-efficient interior space.

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Solar Decathlon Profile: Safety Officer Lee Ann Underwood

Sunday, September 18, 2011

By Carol Anna

At the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, safety is paramount.

Throughout the assembly, public exhibit, and disassembly phases of the event, Lead Safety Officer Lee Ann Underwood keeps a close watch on everyone’s well-being. Trained in environmental and occupational health, Lee Ann has worked as a safety officer for the Solar Decathlon since 2007. Lee Ann and her safety team, which includes safety officers Mary Ann Heaney and Steve Lappi, provide 24-hour coverage at the event with the mission of ensuring the safety of all participants. (more…)

Solar Decathlon Teams Continue Fast-Paced Assembly

Saturday, September 17, 2011

By Richard King

Under mostly cloudy skies and occasional light rain, U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon teams continue assembling their houses around the clock to finish the assembly phase of the competition, which for most (and hopefully all) teams will end Tuesday. (more…)

Solar Decathlon Profile: Site Operations Manager Byron Stafford

Saturday, September 17, 2011

By Carol Anna

When it comes to building a solar village, Byron Stafford knows what it takes. Since the first U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in 2002, Byron has served as the competition’s site operations manager.

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Video Blog: Day One Assembly

Friday, September 16, 2011

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Director Richard King talks to student team members about their assembly progress. (more…)

The Construction—and Excitement—Continues

Thursday, September 15, 2011

By Richard King

We have our time-lapse camera installed, so check out the views from about 40 feet above the solar village. The camera will be there throughout the entire event so everyone can keep an eye on all the happenings.

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Progress, Delays, and Generosity Characterize Second Full Day of Team Assembly

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Carol Anna

Construction of the solar village on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park continued today, as student teams worked throughout the day and night to assemble their competition houses for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011.

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Technology Spotlight: Radiant Heating Systems

Thursday, September 15, 2011

By Alexis Powers

Editor’s Note: This post is one of a series of technology spotlights that introduce common technologies used in U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon team houses.

Homes generally rely on forced air systems, such as baseboard heat, for warmth in the winter. But for more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly heating, several houses built for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon use radiant floor heating instead.

(more…)

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