Friday, October 16, 2009

Solar Decathlon 2009 Germany Wins!

View of the winner's house from south facade where we waited in line to get a look inside Germany's house Tuesday morning. Their flag pole doubled as a camera mount for the live feed internet camera shown on the team's web site.

German's house was full of hosts and visitors on Tuesday morning as the sun shinned brightly. This home had a loft (not open to us) that included a bed room and other areas to live above the dinning room and kitchen and bathroom. One unique feature were two hide-a-way beds that were on rollers built as double long steps on the ground level just past the dinning room table.

Photo Voltaic ( PV ) panels covered the entire exterior of German's solar house. The colors black with orange (red) and yellow details reflecting the German flag.

Some of the PV panels were on louvers that opened to let in light on German's solar powered house.

They did it again! Technical University Darmstadt of Germany won the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon after a week of testing and evaluations for ten categories of energy efficiency and aesthetic excellence. This time I got to tour the house on Tuesday it was the first one Keith and I visited when we arrived with all the school K-12 tour groups visiting that day it was a long wait but worth the visit. I got a few photographs while we were waiting in line. I was impressed with Illinois and California's entries who came in second and third place. German team says this house will go back to the University campus and be placed next to the 2007 winning house where they serve as education tools and inspiration to future teams and students from all over Europe. They beat American teams showing even our best schools are not producing savvy architects and engineers because everyone used commercially available solar products to build their houses. We need more money for schools, grants for education and focus on the future of energy production. Buildings use about half of the energy in this country to run and to be built so this is an important technical weakness for America that needs to be addressed to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and cut green house gases.
More photos are posted on my flickr pages.

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