Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Solar Decathlon Moves to West Coast

Solar Decathlon in Washington DC's National Mall
Recently, students from across the country, Canada and Europe gathered in Irvine, CA at the huge Orange County Great Park to view the site of the U.S. DOE’s 2013 Solar Decathlon to be held October 3rd through the 13th. The biennial event is traditionally held in Washington D.C. Irvine was selected in favor of major metropolitan hubs including New York, Atlanta and Detroit as the event’s 2013 host.

The makeup of the collegiate teams competing in the 2013 Solar Decathlon represents 30 colleges and universities from 14 states, with teams also representing Canada, Austria and the Czech Republic. The teams gathered at the Orange County Great Park to tour the site and return for a full-day workshop covering the Decathlon’s “nuts and bolts” on Saturday.

The Solar Decathlon is a competition managed and coordinated by the U.S. Dept. of Energy that challenges teams of students to design, build and demonstrate solar-powered homes that are energy efficient, affordable, cost-effective and aesthetically appealing.

The modular houses will be built “at home” at each team’s campus, then disassembled and shipped to the Great Park, where the teams will reassemble the structures. 

Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA
In addition to the main solar home competition, display and tours, the Great Park will concurrently host XPO, described as a “world’s fair of clean, renewable and efficient energy” and technology. Tim Shaw, manager of external affairs at Orange County Great Park Corporation, said that the goal of the larger XPO is for visitors to come away and live differently as a result of what they see and learn about renewable energy.  

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