WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy in mid-April announced the 20 collegiate teams selected to compete in the next U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which will be held on the National Mall in Washington in the Fall 2011. For two weeks, teams of college and university students from across the U.S. and the world will compete to design, build, and operate the most affordable, attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house.
Hosted by DOE, the competition will highlight affordable homes that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems that are available today. The competition also supports the Administration’s goal of creating a clean energy economy, while saving American families and businesses money and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
“These students are tomorrow’s leaders in helping develop a clean energy economy,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Their innovative projects will help raise public awareness about energy efficiency, help save consumers money and reduce carbon pollution.”
The selected teams and their projects represent a diverse range of design approaches, building technologies, and geographic locations, climates and regions — including urban, suburban and rural settings. They also aim to reach a broad range of target housing markets, including low-income, disaster relief, retirement, and more.
Selected 2011 Solar Decathlon Teams are:
• Appalachian State University – Boone, N.C.
• The Research Foundation of the City College of New York – New York, N.Y.
• Florida State University, The University of Central Florida, The University of Florida, and The University of South Florida – Tallahassee, Orlando, Gainesville and Tampa, Fla.
• Stevens Institute of Technology and The New School – Hoboken, N.J., and New York, N.Y.
• Ghent University – Ghent, Belgium.
• Tongji University – Shanghai, China.
• Massachusetts College of Art & Design and University of Massachusetts at Lowell – Boston and Lowell, Mass.
• Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and New Jersey Institute of Technology – New Brunswick and Newark, N.J.
• Middlebury College – Middlebury, Vt.
• Florida International University – Miami.
• The Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio.
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Champaign, Ill.
• Old Dominion University and Hampton University – Norfolk and Hampton, Va.
• University of Maryland – College Park, Md.
• Purdue University – West Lafayette, Ind.
• University of Calgary – Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
• The University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Tenn.
• University of Hawaii – Honolulu.
• The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology – Los Angeles and Pasadena, Calif.
• Victoria University of Wellington – Wellington, New Zealand.
A panel of engineers, scientists, and experts from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory evaluated applications for the 2011 competition. Teams were required to meet specific criteria to demonstrate their viability, including their ability to design and build an innovative, entirely solar-powered house, to raise additional funds, to support the project through a well-integrated curriculum, and to assemble a team necessary to carry the project through to completion.
In addition, a panel of professionals from American Institute of Architects, National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. Green Building Council, building industry media, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers evaluated conceptual designs from prospective teams. The results of their evaluations, combined with scores based on the four criteria listed above, determined the 2011 Solar Decathlon teams.