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Photo of Northern Lights on the Concordia University campus. Enlarge image

Team Canada's house featured solar panels used as a roofing material and triple-glazed, south-facing windows to take advantage of the winter sun that shines on Concordia University's campus.
(Courtesy of Concordia University)

Who: Team Canada
What: Northern Lights
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Solar Decathlon 2005

Team Canada: Advancing Solar Technologies

Concordia University joined forces with the Université de Montréal for the lone Canadian entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2005 competition, called Northern Lights. The Canadian team finished in fifth place in the Comfort Zone Contest and in 14th place overall.

Northern Lights returned to the Loyola campus of Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, following the competition. It was reconstructed on campus in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference held Nov. 27–Dec. 9, 2005. Northern Lights was available for tours during this event. The house also played a role in other renewable energy-focused events, including the 2006 Canadian Solar Buildings Conference.

Student experiments with Northern Lights continued. Past research at the house included work on semi-transparent photovoltaic modules, which can be used instead of architectural glass to allow light into a space while generating electricity, and thermal performance simulations.

Northern Lights was then taken down and researchers at Concordia’s Centre for Zero Energy Building Studies (CZEBS) and Facilities Management began collaborating on the conception and construction of a new house-sized facility on the Loyola campus. You can read more in this 2020 news story.