Every two years since 2002 the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition has taken place in Washington DC, showcasing a working display of energy innovation in action. It is one of the most ambitious and inspiring events in the U.S.
It challenges 20 university teams, through a series of 10 contests, to demonstrate inventive clean-energy solutions by building solar-powered houses that feature cost-effective, energy-efficient construction and incorporate energy-saving appliances and renewable energy systems.
The Solar Decathlon has grown into one of the most highly anticipated design competitions ever held, attracting over 300,000 visitors to the National Mall in 2009, while millions view the event through the websites and there is huge media attention through print and online coverage. Read more about it on the official website here.
The competition is an intensely challenging exercise that provides the participants with hands-on training, fosters inter-disciplinary collaboration, inspires innovation and research, and educates the public about the many benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The competition begins in September of 2011 in Washington and teams work intensively for the two years prior in preparation for the event.
Photographs from the 2009 competition from the official Solar Decathlon website:
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