Yale students enter solar decathlon

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If you want fame as an architect, design singular monuments like a bridge or a museum. If you want to change the world, build a better modular home. About a year and a half ago, twelve Yale undergraduates chose the latter path, developing a design for an 800-square-foot house for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The final event of the 2015 competition – the display of the homes to the general public and their judging according to ten metrics by panels of experts  – will take place this October in Irvine, California, 3000 miles away from New Haven.

Yale students build sustainable house for Solar Decathlon


Support Team Yale:

Team website

EPA Solar Decathlon page


#yalesolar in the news:

Students form first Yale team ever to compete in prestigious Solar Decathlon
Yale University’s Solar Decathlon Y-House Blends The Outdoors Into Living Spaces (Video)

Here’s your first look at all 17 teams competing in the 2015 Solar Decathlon

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What’s the Solar Decathlon?

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

What's the purpose?

The Solar Decathlon:

  • Educates students and the public about the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits presented by clean-energy products and design solutions
  • Demonstrates to the public the comfort and affordability of homes that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems available today
  • Provides participating students with unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean-energy workforce.

What's the challenge?
The challenge put forth by the Department of Energy is to design and build a house that:
  • Is affordable, attractive, and easy to live in
  • Maintains comfortable and healthy environmental conditions
  • Supplies energy to appliances for cooking and entertainment
  • Provides adequate hot water
  • Produces as much or more energy than it consumes

More specifically, the final design will be judged through ten individual competitions:

  1. Architecture Contest
  2. Market Appeal Contest
  3. Engineering Contest
  4. Communications Contest
  5. Affordability Contest
  6. Comfort Zone Contest
  7. Appliances Contest
  8. Home Life Contest
  9. Commuting Contest
  10. Energy Balance Contest

More information about each competition can be found at www.solardecathlon.gov/contests.html

What's the impact?
Since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has:

  • Involved 112 collegiate teams, which pursued a multidisciplinary approach to study the requirements for designing and building energy-efficient, solar-powered houses
  • Established a worldwide reputation as a successful educational program and workforce development opportunity for thousands of students
  • Affected the lives of nearly 17,000 collegiate participants
  • Expanded to include an additional 81 teams and more than 12,000 students in three competitions around the world: Solar Decathlon Europe, Solar Decathlon China 2013, and the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
  • Educated the public about the benefits, affordability, and availability of clean energy solutions by generating widespread media coverage and harnessing digital tools to reach tens of millions of people.

Check out Team Yale’s design:

Read about the final days via YCEI: 

Yale Solar Decathlon Entry Scrambles to the Finish

Original Source: New Haven Register, Aug. 9, 2015  >> http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150809/yale-students-build-sustainable-house-for-solar-decathlon