Twenty international collegiate and technical institute teams are getting ready to build solar-powered houses and compete for top awards at the European Solar Decathlon 2014, in Versailles, France. You can follow the June 28-July 14 competition through the Green News Update website and our direct links to the competition. Check back soon for a preview of the Decathlon –our upcoming feature story on Maison Reciprocité, the joint Decathlon team of Appalachian State University (North Carolina) and the Université d’Angers (Angers France). Link to the Solar Decathlon web site 2014
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Each multidisciplinary team spends about two years planning, designing, engineering and fabricating their houses based on specific requirements (size and cost especially) then transporting them to the competition site (panelized or knocked down) by truck or container ship. These are high-tech houses that rely entirely on solar power for all energy, and there are a host of other green features incorporated into the houses (living green walls, recycled materials, low flow toilets, etc). Professors, mentors and technical experts in everything from dessicant systems to web design are there to provide assistance and advice along the way. It’s a rich educational program as well as a competition.
The Solar Decathlon started in 2002 as an initiative of the US Department of Energy. Since then, the US has sponsored five more US competitions, and signed agreements with Europe, China and just-announced Latin America/Caribbean for international competitions.
Other Solar Decathlon Coverage by Green News Update
Green News Update has covered the Solar Decathlons in Spain, China and the US over the past few years. Here are links to our coverage in 2012 and 2013.
- 2013 U.S. Solar Decathlon: For the 19 collegiate teams in the the waiting is over! Proving that the Solar Decathlon has become a world competition, Team Austria and the AIR House from Czech Republic swept first and third place when all the contests were tallied — with the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in second place. The Las Vegas team was highly ranked throughout the 10-day competition, with a consistent second-place finish in many of the 10 juried contests. Full story
- China’s first-ever Solar Decathlon (2013): Asia’s first Solar Decathlon, with 22 teams from 35 universities on five continents, competed for the coveted first place at the China Solar Decathlon in Datong, China, during the first two weeks of August. An Australian team was named the winner on August 12 and two other closely ranked competitors (teams in China and Sweden) placed second and third. Full story
- Solar Decathlon Europe (2012): Solar-powered houses built by students from 18 universities and schools in Europe, Asia, South America and the US competed for the coveted first place at the 2012 European Solar Decathlon, awarded Sept 29 in Madrid. Full story
- Photo Gallery from 2012 European Solar Decathlon