Solar Decathlon 2011 will be open to the public from Sept. 23-Oct. 2, 2011.
U.S. Department of Energy announced thatSolar Decathlon 2011will hold its
opening ceremony on Sept. 22, 2011, and will be open to the public from Sept.
23 through Oct. 2. The Solar Decathlon is a competition that challenges
collegiate students from across the globe to design, build and operate
solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, attractive and
easy to live in.
fifth DOE competition will feature 16 U.S. teams from 14 states, including
California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. The
competition will also include teams from Belgium, Canada, China and New Zealand.
teams generally spend nearly two years designing and partially building their
solar homes on or near their campuses. The teams then transport their homes to
the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where they complete construction of the
homes and then operate them for more than a week while competing in 10 juried contests.
Each contest is judged by the competition’s criteria for architecture, market
appeal, affordability, engineering and communicating accomplishments to the
In addition, monitors in
each house will determine which teams do the best job at keeping their home in
the comfort zone; delivering 15 gallons of hot water over a 10-minute period
each day; washing and drying laundry and operating other appliances, including
a refrigerator-freezer and a dishwasher; and meeting all of the home’s energy
needs. A tenth contest judges the teams on home entertainment and includes
criteria that are measured - such as lighting the house, boiling water to
simulate cooking and operating a television and computer - as well as two
dinner parties and one “movie night” that are awarded points by the attendees,
who come from neighboring teams.
winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer
appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum
efficiency. The Solar Decathlon educates both student participants and the
public about how to integrate affordable clean-energy products into homes to
save money and reduce energy use. In addition, it provides participating
students with unique training to enter the clean-energy workforce.