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16 Colleges to Compete in Solar Contest

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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Sixteen university teams worldwide have been picked to compete in the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition.

The contest challenges students to design and build solar-powered, highly energy-efficient homes that combine affordability with consumer appeal and design excellence.

Solar Decathlon
Thomas Kelsey / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

Between now and the start of the event, the teams will design, construct and test their houses before reassembling them at the yet-to-be-named competition site. The 2015 Solar Decathlon took place in Irvine, CA.

Zero-VOC paints and coatings, as well as energy-efficient building technologies, are often featured in the winning entries.

For the first time in the competition’s history, the teams will be competing for $2 million in prize money, the DOE announced Jan.20.

Time to Shine

“The Solar Decathlon competition supports the [Energy] department’s commitment to improving the nation's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education efforts, and to building a more knowledge-intensive workforce,” according to DOE’s Solar Decathlon Director Richard King.

The colleges and universities that will begin the two-year process include eight returning teams and eight new teams.

The Stevens Institute of Technology, whose team designed and built the winning entry for the 2015 Decathlon, is not listed in the 2017 lineup. Meanwhile, new teams from Switzerland and The Netherlands will make the journey to the U.S. for the event.

Solar Decathlon 2015 winner
Thomas Kelsey / U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon

The Stevens Institute of Technology, whose team designed and built the winning entry for the 2015 Decathlon, is not listed in the 2017 lineup.

Between now and the start of the event, the teams will design, construct and test their houses before reassembling them at the competition site, which has yet to be announced. The teams compete in 10 different contests—ranging from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance—while gaining valuable hands-on experience in clean energy design.

The Competitors

The Solar Decathlon 2017 teams are from the following universities:

  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta)
  • HU University of Applied Science Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands)
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  • Rice University (Houston, TX)
  • Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, AL)
  • University of California at Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  • University of California, Davis (Davis, CA)
  • University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
  • University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas)
  • Washington State University (Pullman, WA)
  • Washington University (St. Louis)
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

The selected teams and their proposed projects will represent a diverse range of design approaches; building technologies; target markets; and geographic locations, climates and regions, including urban, suburban and rural settings, according to the DOE.

More information: http://www.solardecathlon.gov/.

   

Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Color; Contests; Government

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