Solar Power: Stellist Groups Descend on Washington

Twenty teams of university and college students are showing off their solar powers this week at the 2007 Solar Decathlon in Washington, DC. The event, put on by the United States Department of Energy, includes students from 23 universities around the world, whose exhibits in the National Mall are open to the public through Oct. 20.

The Solar Decathlon pits student teams against one another to "design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house." Students build houses that must be powered entirely by solar energy.

This year's competition--the third such event to date--includes the following 20 teams: Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Kansas Project Solar House (Kansas State University and University of Kansas), Lawrence Technological University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York Institute of Technology, Penn State, Santa Clara University, Team Montréal (École de Technologie Supérieure, Université de Montréal, McGill University), Technische Universität Darmstadt, Texas A&M University, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad de Puerto Rico, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Cincinnati, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Maryland, University of Missouri - Rolla, and University of Texas at Austin.

Teams compete in the categories of architecture, engineering, market viability, communications, comfort, appliances, hot water, lighting, energy balance, and "getting around." Each category will have a winner, and an overall winner will also be determined. The overall winner  will be announced Friday. A call for proposals for the next event, in 2009, is available now on the Solar Decathlon site.

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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