In a few hours, the U.S. Department of Energy will announce final results of the Solar Decathlon at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Solar Decathlon is a competition of 20 teams of college and university students to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. There are 10 subjective and objective contests in these categories: architecture, market viability, engineering, lighting design, communications, comfort zone, hot water, appliances, home entertainment, and net metering. At this time, the engineering and net metering contests are the only scores that have not been released. Is the suspense getting to you yet?
With only the engineering and net metering contests remaining, the Solar Decathlon entry for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is now slightly ahead of other contenders, including Team California and Team Germany. It’s a tight competition, though. Solar Decathlon director Richard King yesterday said Team Germany may just receive approximately 25 more points that the next closest team in the net metering contest. Such a point spread could propel the same to its second straight victory. Nevertheless, Illinois has this beautiful home built with reclaimed materials that can produce up to four times its energy needs at times.
Right now 20 solar-powered homes are competing for bragging rights at the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. With a few more contests left and the final results this Friday, Team California is edging ahead of the pack. They’ve won both the architectural and communications contests and scored third in the market viability contest. That said, both Team Germany and Cornell are doing some incredible things, and anything can happen. We’ll have to wait and see whether the Refract House can hold on to first.