Solar Decathlon China: Updates Aug 1-13

Solar-powered, student-built, and awesome! The China Solar Decathlon is underway -- houses going up.

Solar-powered, student-built, and awesome!  Solar Decathlon China is underway — houses are up and operating

DATONG, CHINA–  Asia’s first Solar Decathlon is underway!  Solar-powered houses built by 20 teams from 33 universities on four continents are competing for the coveted first place at the Solar Decathlon China in Datong, China, now through August 12. The winner will be announced at the close of the 10 competitive “events”– with a major ceremony.

Our “man in China” Richard King, who heads the US Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon,  is writing a daily blog. You can follow his updates — and the competition.

King’s first reaction: ” WOW.  It’s quite an amazing competition.”

“I just arrived at the first Solar Decathlon China in Datong, and it is beyond awesome. … Solar Decathlon China has taken on the flavor of the Olympics in both size and complexion. The City of Datong has built an impressive site for the competition—complete with a hotel called the Sun Palace for the hundreds of decathletes, a beautifully designed village for the competition houses, and facilities to accommodate thousands of visitors.

“To top that, the site is located in the middle of a new cultural center where a museum, theater, library, and stadium are being built for the city’s residents. ”

Student Teams

Plenty of team spirit among the students at 35 universities taking part in the Solar Decathlon China.

Plenty of team spirit among the students at 33 universities taking part in the Solar Decathlon China.

The 20 student teams represent 33 universities, 11 nationalities and four continents –including Israel, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, England, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and the US.  The competition in China is under an agreement between the Republic of China and the US Department of Energy. Check out the teams

 In just a decade, the Solar Decathlon has become a virtually worldwide competition that draws student teams from Australia, Asia, South America, Europe, Canada and the US to build solar-powered prototype houses that can take up to two years to plan and build, then compete for top honors in individual contests that measure energy use, efficiency and overall performance.

The Solar Decathlon started in 2002 as a US competition sponsored by the US Department of Energy and held on the National Mall in Washington DC.

NEXT UP: The 2013 US Solar Decathlon takes places Oct 3-13 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California, with 20 teams,  including schools from  the Czech Republic, Austria, Canada and US.   Check it out

See the earlier Green News Update story (July) on Solar Decathlon China.

See the Green News Update story on the 2012 European Solar Decathlon in Spain with a wrapup story and photo gallery. Read the story. View the gallery