University of Maryland wins Solar Decathlon (Video, Slideshow)

| by Teena Hammond
University of Maryland wins Solar Decathlon (Video, Slideshow)

The University of Maryland is the winner of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. The university won top honors by designing, building and operating the most cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive solar-powered house. Purdue University took second place, followed by New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington) in third place.maryland house

"This competition to build innovative, highly energy-efficient homes has been two years in the making, and all of these teams must be commended for their hard work," said U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a press release. "The houses on display blend affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. These talented students are demonstrating to consumers the wide range of energy-saving solutions that are available today to save them money on their energy bills."

All teams competed in 10 contests during 10 days that gauged each house's performance, livability and affordability. The teams performed everyday tasks, including cooking, laundry and washing dishes to test the energy efficiency of their houses. After all contest results were tallied, Maryland earned 951.151 points out of a possible 1,000 to win the competition, followed by Purdue with 931.390 points, and New Zealand with 919.058 points. Full competition results and details about the individual contests may be found at the Solar Decathlon website.

"The Department of Energy would like to thank these incredible students, who represent the clean energy workforce of tomorrow and who helped bring this Solar Decathlon competition to life," said Richard King, director of Solar Decathlon for the DOE, in the release. "Today's announcement is the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work and determination. You have helped show that anyone can save money and energy in their own home starting right now."

The results of the Market Appeal Contest also were announced on Oct. 1, with Middlebury College taking first place by scoring 95 out of 100 possible points. The Market Appeal Contest evaluates the livability of each house and its appeal within the housing market. The University of Maryland placed second in Market Appeal, scoring 94 points, which helped solidify their lead in the overall competition. New Zealand placed third in Market Appeal, scoring 93 points in the contest, which helped propel them from fourth place overall into third place in the final competition.

A slideshow of Solar Decathlon images shows details from the competition.

A video shows the details of the overall winning entry:

For more information, see our Solar Power for Homes research center.


Topics: Photovoltaic / Solar Panels, Solar Power

Companies: U.S. Department of Energy



Teena Hammond
Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.

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