On Thursday, I talked about how the Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon was both heating up and coming to its finale. At that time, the University of Maryland was in first place with the German team breathing down their necks.
In a come-from-behind victory, the Technische Universität Darmstadt passed the American team to take first place in the Solar Decathlon. The competition challenged 20 universities to come up with the most energy efficient home possible that was also aesthetically pleasing as well.
The Darmstadt team received high scores for lighting, engineering and energy balance and had people waiting in long lines all week to see their solar home. The University of Maryland team lost their slim lead but retained second place by being one of the few teams to score a perfect 100-percent on Energy Balance and high marks on Market Viability and Architecture.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Solar Decathlon was that the Santa Clara University team, who almost didn’t make it to Washington DC because of problems trucking their house cross country. This California team slipped into third place. On Thursday, the Santa Clara team was in 9th place so they made a huge move on the last day of the competition. The judges said this was because of their friendly and enthusiastic presentation and the fact that they scored a perfect 100-percent on Energy Balance and the Hot Water contest.
The reigning champ, the University of Colorado also moved up in the rankings from 10th place to 7th place on the last day of competition. Perhaps one day we will all live in solar homes like the ones designed by these students and the electric company will actually pay us for the surplus electricity we generate and sell back to the grid. Now that would be a grand model in effeciency, now wouldn’t it?