Friday, August 15, 2008
Every couple of years, the Department of Energy hosts a "Solar Decathlon." Based on submitted concept proposals, twenty college teams are chosen to compete to see who can design, build, and operate the best all-solar powered home.
The arena: the Capitol mall in Washington, DC.
Ten areas of judging - architecture, engineering, market viability, communications, comfort, appliances, hot water, lighting, energy balance, and transportation - make up this decathlon, and a first, second, and third place is awarded.
Although most of the teams are from American universities, an entry from Germany -Technische Universität Darmstadt - was last year's winner.
Second and third went to the University of Maryland and Santa Clara University respectively.
You can visit the next solar decathlon in the fall of 2009 (dates yet to be announced) on the mall in Washington. For photos of the most recent solar decathlon, go to: