Solar Decathlon 2011 Teams Announced
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced the 20 student teams that will compete during Solar Decathlon 2011 to see which can design, build, and operate the most affordable, attractive, effective, and energy efficient solar-powered house. Along with the team announcement, DOE also announced the launch of a newly designed competition website offering a richer online experience and a snazzy new look.
Teams were selected by a panel of engineers, scientists, and experts from DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as well as a panel of professionals from the American Institute of Architects, National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. Green Building Council, members of the building industry media, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
Click here to view the complete list of 2011 Solar Decathlon teams and view their preliminary house designs.
The infusion of "new blood" in the current Solar Decathlon cycle could shake things up a bit. While there are as many international teams as in past cycles, different countries are represented. Germany, whose team won for the past two years, is notably absent. Even the American teams are largely different from past cycles. The field of competitors still represents a diverse range of design approaches, building technologies, climates, and regions, however. I look forward to seeing the Belgian, New Zealand, and Chinese teams' entries as much as I do those of Appalachian State, Parsons, Hawaii, and the Tidewater Virginia teams.
Read our coverage of the 2009 Solar Decathlon, including each of the teams' houses, here, and read our wrap-up about the competition from the November/December 2009 print edition. --Stephani Miller