Washington, D.C., United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman announced the winners of the 2009 Department of Energy Solar Competition on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Team Germany from Darmstadt won top honors for the second time. Team Germany’s winning surPLUShouse design produced a surplus of power even during three days of rain. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took second place followed by Team California in third place.
The 2009 Solar Decathlon challenged 20 university-led teams from the United States, Spain, Germany and Canada to compete in 10 contests including architecture, market viability, communications, lighting design, engineering, heating and cooling, hot water, home entertainment, appliances and net metering.
New to this year’s competition, the Net Metering Contest was worth 150 points towards the final results and was the most heavily weighted contest. It challenged teams to generate surplus energy, above and beyond the power needed to run a house, which they fed into a power grid.
Team Germany earned 908.29 points out of a possible 1,000 to win the competition, followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with 897.30 points, and Team California with 863.08 points.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earned the most points in the Appliances Contest based on keeping a refrigerators and freezer cold, washing and drying 10 loads of laundry during the contest week and washing dishes in a dishwasher five times during the competition. This team also won in the Home Entertainment and Hot Water contests.
Team California took first place in the Architecture contest, earning 98 points out of a possible 100. The team also took first for its communications efforts, including communications plans, student-led tours, and team Web site.
Team Germany topped the contestants in the Comfort Zone contest, with 92 out of 100 points for maintaining indoor temperatures between 72 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity between 40 percent and 55 percent.
The University of Minnesota won the Engineering contest, which was evaluated by a group of prominent engineers, who determined which solar home best exemplified excellence in energy systems design, energy-efficiency savings, creative innovations in design, and reliability of energy systems. The school also won the Lighting contest where jurors toured each house to evaluate the aesthetics, innovations, energy efficiency, user-friendliness, flexibility, and performance of the teams’ lighting designs.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette won the Market Viability contest, which evaluated whether the cost-effective construction and solar technology in a team’s design would create a viable product on the open market.