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Photo of a photovoltaic array at the Solar Decathlon.

Even in partly to mostly cloudy weather, the teams are able to generate electricity using their photovoltaic systems.

Solar Decathlon 2005

Daily Journal — October 13, 2005

Morning Update

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday Virginia Tech was comfortably in the lead, by 30 points. By this morning they had fallen to fourth place. Colorado, the defending champions, has moved into first place, but only by the narrowest of margins. Cal Poly and Cornell are in second and third respectively. What a close, exciting competition!

The houses were closed to public tours yesterday as we monitored their indoor temperature and humidity. Because the houses were closed it was difficult to know what the teams were up to. You almost had the feeling not much was going on, but obviously there was. Teams were in their houses calculating, checking energy gain, and recalculating. Those with a shrewd strategy and good understanding of energy management have been scoring points under the cloudy conditions they have had to deal with this year. There is so much intrigue I wish I was sitting in each house to watch the drama play out. We certainly won't know the final results until all the ten contests have been completed.

The Colorado team has been scoring points driving their car more than anyone else so far, but they are depleting their battery storage as a result. The Colorado team actually wants the weather to stay cloudy because they are doing well under these circumstances. Other teams are lying in wait, saving their energy for the last push to gain points in the energy balance contest, worth 100 points. Every activity now becomes a calculated decision.

Reporting from a cloudy village where the competition is intense and the spirits run high.
Richard King, Department of Energy