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Photo of a group of people sitting around a table and chatting in a round-walled kitchen.

Decathletes chat during a dinner party in Cornell University's Solar Decathlon 2009 house.

Solar Decathlon 2009

Home Entertainment

(100 points)

The Home Entertainment contest is designed to demonstrate that houses powered solely by the sun can provide a comfortable setting with power for the electronics, appliances, and modern conveniences we love. The Home Entertainment contest gauges whether a house has what it takes to be a home. How well does it accommodate the pleasures of living, such as sharing meals with friends and family, watching movies in a home theater, and surfing the Web? How well does it accommodate a small home office for a telecommuter?

The contest included:

  • Holding two dinner parties for neighbors. Guests awarded the host team points based on the quality of the meal, ambiance, and overall experience.

  • Sufficiently illuminating work areas and keeping all interior and exterior house lights on during specified periods of time.

  • Operating a TV, computer, and other devices during specified periods.

  • Hosting a movie night for neighbors, who rated their hosts based on the quality of the home theater system as well as design, ambiance, and overall experience.

  • Simulating cooking by using a kitchen appliance to boil and vaporize 5 pounds (80 oz or 2.268 kg) of water within a specified period of time over several days.