DOE's Solar Decathlon to be Held October 9-18 on the National Mall

June 9, 2009

Aerial photo of people walking on a boardwalk between two rows of houses on the center of the National Mall, while other people queue up to tour the houses.

Visitors to the 2007 Solar Decathlon enjoyed generally favorable weather. On average, more than 100,000 people have visited each of the three previous Solar Decathlons. Enlarge this photo.
Credit: Kaye Evans-Lutterodt/Solar Decathlon

DOE announced on June 9 that the 2009 Solar Decathlon will be held from October 9-18 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition where 20 teams of university students develop fully-functional houses that draw all their energy from the sun. After spending two years developing their homes, the students ship their partially completed homes to the National Mall, finish building the homes, and then compete in 10 contests that measure the team's skills in architecture, home design, and communications. The solar homes must produce enough electricity and hot water to perform all the normal functions of a home, including powering the lights and home electronics, washing clothes and dishes, showering, and cooking, all while maintaining a comfortable temperature. Teams can also earn bonus points if their homes produce a surplus of electricity. Opening ceremonies for the 2009 Solar Decathlon will be held on October 8, and the event will be open to the public on October 9-13 and 15-18.

The 20 teams include universities from 15 states, as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany, and Spain. The teams include Cornell University; Iowa State University; the Ohio State University; Penn State; Rice University; Team Alberta (the University of Calgary, SAIT Polytechnic, Alberta College of Art + Design, and Mount Royal College); Team Boston (Boston Architectural College and Tufts University); Team California (Santa Clara University and the California College of the Arts); Team Missouri (Missouri University of Science and Technology and the University of Missouri); Team Ontario/BC (the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, and Simon Fraser University); Technische Universit├Ąt Darmstadt; Universidad de Puerto Rico; Universidad Polit├ęcnica de Madrid; the University of Arizona; the University of Illinois; the University of Kentucky; the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; the University of Minnesota; the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and Virginia Tech. See the DOE press release and the Solar Decathlon Web site.