We all know that innovation is born in universities. Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition among student teams from all over the world. From 2002, Solar Decathlon is organized by the U.S. Department of Energy. The competition aims to design and build a energy-efficient houses powered by the sun. But there are also other “features” for the houses of the future.
The word “Decathlon” means that there are 10 criteria used to evaluate the projects: Architecture, Market Potential, Engineering, Communications, Innovation, Water, Health and Comfort, Appliances, Home Life, Energy.
Solar Decathlon 2017
The final event of Solar Decathlon 2017 will be organized in Denver, Colorado, on the 5-15 October. Actually, the working phases started two years ago, in order to give teams the opportunity to design and build their smart houses. During the final event, the houses are showed and evaluated by the jury. Moreover, houses’ tours for public are organized. Here, you can find the description and the features of last editions’ houses.
The Solar Decathlon competition makes up a real “living laboratory”. The houses designed are examples of sustainability in energetic, building and economic field. All the 10 criteria will be considered in order to determinate the final score of the teams.
The contests evaluate cost-effective design; innovation balanced with market potential; water and energy efficiency; energy production and time-of-use energy; and communications strategies. Every team selected the target client and the jury will evaluate the market impact potential of the house. Building materials must be sustainable and suitable to ensure thermal insulation to the house, in order to reduce the energy consumption of conditioning. Electricity is produced by pv panels; heat is obtained using thermal solar panels. Moreover, values of temperature and humidity in the house are fixed by the jury. Also the hydraulic plant will be efficient and designed to reduce the consumption and the waste of water.
The house designed must be comfortable and suitable to host people inside. Students will simulate cooking, showers, washing and drying laundry. Moreover, the energy consumption of home appliances will be monitored: fridge, washing machine, refrigerator, freezer. Teams must be able to build and also “sell” the house to clients. Moreover, teams must develop communications strategies to engage local communities and make an impact across the world.
The selected teams for the 2017’s edition are 11: there are 2 European teams from Switzerland and Netherlands. From 2002, 141 teams have taken part to Solar Decathlon, almost 18000 students. The Solar Decathlon is also organized in China, South America, Europe, Middle East. If you want to know something more about the location of the houses look at this map.