For the past week, 20 teams took over the National Mall with their best attempts at a net-zero, solar-powered home, all with hopes to win this year's Solar Decathlon. Today, after competing in ten different contests, the winners were crowned, and for the second time, Germany took first place.
The cube-shaped surPLUShome, covered on all sides by dark metallic solar panels, produces more than twice the energy it uses. The roof is covered with single-crystal silicon panels and the sides with thin-film copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) panels. The entire system has a capacity of 11.1 kW.
Just as impressive was the efficiency of the home. The team got a perfect score in the Net Metering contest. Features like one large multi-purpose room with different "zones" instead of separated rooms, vacuum insulation structural panels, a boiler/heat pump system for hot water and heat and louver-covered windows created an energy-sipping home.
Two U.S. teams also placed in the competition: Team Illinois took second and Team California took third. All of the entries showcased innovative and beautiful designs. Check out virtual tours of all the entries here and let the inspiration begin.
written by Green Ninja, October 20, 2009
written by Richard, October 21, 2009
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