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Get Ready For Solar Decathlon 2011

Laying the last solar panel on Team Germany's house during DOE Solar Decathlon 2009
Laying the last solar panel on Team Germany’s house during DOE Solar Decathlon 2009.
(cc) Stefano Paltera/US Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the dates for Solar Decathlon 2011, a competition that challenges collegiate students from across the globe to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. The Opening Ceremony of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 will be held on the National Mall on Thursday, September 22, 2011, and the Solar Village will be open to the public from Friday, September 23 through Sunday, October 2.

The 20 teams selected for Solar Decathlon 2011 span the globe, representing four continents and five countries, including the United States, Belgium, Canada, China, and New Zealand. Each team will build a highly efficient solar-powered house, showcasing energy-efficient amenities and smart home systems that reduce carbon emissions without sacrificing the comfort of modern conveniences. Students will spend almost two years creating houses to compete in ten contests on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The winner of the overall competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The Solar Decathlon educates student participants and the public about how to integrate affordable, clean energy products into houses to save money and reduce energy use. It also provides participating students with unique training to enter our nation’s clean energy workforce.

This will be DOE’s fifth Solar Decathlon competition. The competition has also been held in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Open to the public and free of charge, visitors can tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money.

The Solar Decathlon 2011 teams are:

  • Appalachian State University – Boone, North Carolina
  • Florida International University – Miami, Florida
  • Middlebury College – Middlebury, Vermont
  • New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington – Wellington, New Zealand
  • The Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio
  • Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology – New York, New York and Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana
  • The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology – Los Angeles and Pasadena, California
  • Team Belgium: Ghent University – Ghent, Belgium
  • Team Canada: University of Calgary – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Team China: Tongji University – Shanghai, China
  • Team Florida: The University of South Florida, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida – Tampa, Tallahassee, Orlando, and Gainesville, Florida
  • Team Massachusetts: Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell – Boston and Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Team New Jersey: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and New Jersey Institute of Technology – New Brunswick and Newark, New Jersey
  • Team New York: The City College of New York – New York, New York
  • Tidewater Virginia: Old Dominion University and Hampton University – Norfolk and Hampton, Virginia
  • University of Hawaii – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Illinois
  • University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland
  • The University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Tennessee.

The DOE Solar Decathlon supports the Obama Administration’s goal of creating an economy based on clean-energy technologies while saving families and businesses money and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Read Large-Scale Solar Power Systems: Construction and Economics from Amazon.

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