U.S. Department of Energy

    Illinois at Urbana-Champaign wins Solar Decathlon's Market Viability Contest

    October 18, 2007

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign won first place in the Solar Decathlon's market viability contest today, earning 114.35 points out of the possible total of 150. They were followed by the University of Maryland, which finished with 112.50 points, and Pennsylvania State University, which earned 109.95 points. The market viability contest, which was first introduced this year, challenged students to choose a target market for their home. Judges then evaluated the homes' livability, buildability, flexibility, and potential affordability within that market. See the DOE press release.

    This year's winner of the Solar Decathlon will be announced on October 19th. The winner of the 150-point engineering contest, which is the last judged contest, will also be announced at that time. Meanwhile, teams continue to rack up points based on maintaining comfort levels in their houses, lighting their houses, operating their appliances, providing hot water for showers and other needs, maintaining the charge on their battery packs, and running an electric vehicle that is charged with solar power from their house. As of the afternoon on October 18th, the University of Maryland was holding first place overall, followed by the German Technische Universit├Ąt Darmstadt in second place and Pennsylvania State University in third place.

    The Solar Decathlon is a competition involving 20 university teams from across the world designing and building homes that are completely powered and heated by solar energy. It is sponsored by the DOE; DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory; the American Institute of Architects; the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers; the National Association of Homebuilders; the U.S. Green Building Council; and private-sector sponsors BP and Sprint. See the Solar Decathlon Web site for daily updates, current standings, photos, and videos.