20 Teams Set for Solar Decathlon in 2005

Continuing what has become a very successful solar energy competition, students from around the globe will converge on the National Mall in during the fall of 2005 for a “constructive demonstration” of solar power in the U.S. Department of Energy’s second Solar Decathlon. The 2005 competition will feature 20 teams, up from 14 entries in the first contest.

Washington D.C. – October 8, 2003 [] Decathlon teams from universities across the United States, Europe and Canada will compete to design and build a solar-powered house. The teams will assemble their modular homes on the Mall. Contest rules require that each house generate enough energy to operate a household, a home-based business and related transportation needs. The team demonstrating the most energy-efficient and innovatively designed house wins. “Consumers are asking for more energy-efficient homes and appliances and they want practical ways to use renewable energy,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. “This competition demonstrates that we can have comfortable and appealing homes that use only energy from the sun. That’s an important contribution to our nation’s energy security and to our environment.” In contrast to an athletic decathlon, the Solar Decathlon is a team event dependent upon the diverse abilities of its members rather than individual abilities. The Decathlon is made up of ten contests, seven of which focus on energy efficiency. Entries will be judged by a panel of architects and design professionals on aesthetics and design integration, including space heating and cooling, lighting, communications, hot water, refrigeration, appliances, and presentation. The contest will also evaluate how much “extra” energy a house can generate to transport solar decathletes around town in a street-legal, commercially-available electric vehicle. Decathletes from the following universities have been selected through a proposal system to compete: California Polytechnic Institute (San Luis Obispo, California); Carnegie Mellon University; Concordia University (Montreal, Canada); Cornell University; Crowder College; Florida International University; New York Institute of Technology; Universidad Politecnica Madrid; University of Colorado (Denver and Boulder); University of Maryland; University of Massachusetts (Dartmouth); University of Michigan; University of Missouri (Rolla and Rolla Technical Institute); University of Puerto Rico (Mayaguez); University of Southern California; University of Texas at Austin; University of Virginia; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Rhode Island School of Design; and Washington State University. The 2005 Solar Decathlon is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Other sponsors include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, The Home Depot, and the American Institute of Architects. Representatives of the Solar Decathlon teams will meet September 19 to 21 in Washington, D.C. for a workshop to begin preparing for the 2005 Solar Decathlon.