Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fully solar-powered, affordable homes nearing reality

It is possible to have a fully powered solar home that is close to the costings of a "standard" built home.

Teams from twenty universities proved it and showed the world how at the recent Solar Decathlon.

Held every two years, 20 selected teams of college and university students compete in designing, building, and operating, fully functional, energy-efficient, yet aesthetically pleasing homes. The competition is held at the the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and comprises 10 contests including:

Architecture — 200 points

Engineering — 150 points

Market Viability — 150 points

Communications — 100 points

Comfort Zone — 100 points

Appliances — 100 points

Hot Water — 100 points

Lighting — 100 points

Energy Balance — 100 points

Getting Around — 100 points

This year's top three winners are:

Technische Universit├Ąt Darmstadt

University of Maryland

Santa Clara University

PBS featured the Solar Decathlon last night.

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