The Solar Homestead is Appalachian State University’s entry into the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. This international competition challenges twenty collegiate teams to design, build, and operate a solar powered home. This prestigious competition, which takes place in September, 2011, consists of ten contests that will evaluate the home’s performance, design, and marketability. Since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has been held at the National Mall in Washington, DC. Upon arrival, teams must reconstruct their homes on site in preparation for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who will tour them.
Appalachian State University is the only school from North Carolina to ever compete in the Solar Decathlon. This year’s competition includes teams from New Zealand, China, Belgium, and Canada. Modeled off of the US DOE event, a Solar Decathlon Europe kicked off in 2010, and China recently announced it will host a Solar Decathlon 2013.
ASU’s Solar Homestead team consists of sixty students involved with architecture, interior design, engineering, construction, and communications. Team leaders recently travelled to Orlando, Florida for the International Builders’ Show to present a scale model of their home. This event allowed all 20 teams to meet the competition and converse with industry professionals. An unexpected announcement from the DOE curbed the excitement of the event: Solar Decathlon 2011 will not take place on the National Mall.
The National Park Service stated that the National Mall has been impacted severely from hosting numerous events, and efforts are underway for restoration. The DOE is working hard to relocate the Solar Decathlon 2011, but a suitable site has yet to be selected. This move presents challenges for the teams as designs and budget estimations were decided with the DC site in mind.
Despite this recent setback, the Solar Homestead is working hard to place first in the competition. Innovative designs include bi-facial PV, solar thermal domestic hot water, phase-change Trombe wall, and an advanced outbuilding module, or OM, which collects sunlight and delivers clean energy to the home. With construction beginning within the month, a live web cam will be available for viewers to stay involved and informed with the Solar Homestead progress.
Stay connected with the team on facebook and twitter, and keep returning to Solar Thermal Magazine for further posts about the Solar Homestead!
Tags: appalachian state university, clean energy, collegiate teams, competition, department of energy, engineering construction, innovative design, North Carolina, Solar Decathlon, solar homes, solar power, solar powered home, solarhome
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