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DOE’s Solar Decathlon – Building the Future

by Kate Bannan on Mon, September 26, 2011

U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon


The Solar Decathlon is being held September 23–October 2, 2011, at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, DC. The event is free and open to the public.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon  challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

19 teams from universities from the US and around the world are competing in the sixth running of the Solar Decathlon.  Each team’s home is monitored for its performance in five areas relating to performance and livability: comfort (maintaining comfortable temperature and humidity in the home), hot water (producing a sufficient quantity for washing and bathing), appliances (such as keeping refrigerated items at the right temperature), home entertainment (running lights, computers and other devices) and energy balance.  For the energy balance portion, homes must even out energy consumption and generation so that they use zero net energy over the course of a week. Other contests rate the teams for their communications with the public, as well as the affordability, architecture, engineering and market appeal of their homes. The winner of the competition will be announced on October 1.

To learn more about solar energy and other green energy technologies, go to the DOE Green Energy Portal and find results from valuable sources of DOE research and development information, including  DOE databases of technical reports and patents that arefiltered for green energy related subjects such as solar, hydro, geothermal, wind energy, energy storage, tidal and wave power, direct energy conversion, nuclear fuel cycle, biomass, synthetic fuels and much more.

The DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), within the Office of Science, provides these green energy results from R&D conducted throughout the Department and by DOE-funded awards at universities. The content consists of over 34,500 technical reports and approximately 1,300 patents from R&D projects representing an investment of several billion dollars. The DOE Green Energy site organizes this green energy R&D and makes it freely accessible to researchers, scientists, educators, students and the public. DOE Green Energy contains both current research and historical research.

Good luck to all of the teams!

Related OSTI Products: DOE Green Energy
Page last updated on 2017-08-11 10:22

About the Author

Kate Bannan's picture
Kate Bannan
Communication and Outreach Specialist

Kate Bannan is a Communications and Outreach Specialist for the Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) She develops and implements strategic communications and outreach programs to build awareness of OSTI, its programs and initiatives.