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2005 Solar Decathlon in Washington DC





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Here's more highlights of the 2005 Solar Decathlon.


University of Colorado, Denver and Boulder developed this building material. It uses a lightweight honeycomb cardboard encasing a soy based foam insulating material. They are seeking a patent on it. It's environmentally friendly and easy to work with.




VA Tech used a radiant floor heating system. You can see the tubing (red) which is surrounded by aluminum, which acts as a heat sink. That's covered by a foam pad (black), then the hardwood flooring. 

Crowder College installed their heat tubing in the ceiling. The ceiling material is metal so it radiates comfortable warmth into the room. Their system is designed so that cool water can be circulated through the tubes in the summer. Crowder's house was exceptionally attractive and comfortable feeling.




University of Maryland's system is monitored on a laptop computer. It connects to the OutBack Power Systems inverter. They were only using a fraction of the power the solar cells were generating. The excess goes into the batteries. The more sophisticated equipment on the market can be monitored and controlled, if you choose, from anywhere in the world, via an internet connection.


 One of the house's array of batteries to store electricity.




Heat is captured on the floor of this house where the sun strikes it and acts as a heat sink.


This clever design uses solar panels as an awning to block the direct sunlight from entering the house. The outermost part has wires stretched across the frame. These can be used to let plants grow and provide shading for the summer sun's angle. The leaves will be gone in the colder months and the awning will let the direct winter sunlight in. This is a good type of idea if you want to add solar but don't want to install it on your roof. All sorts of clever ideas are in use for mounting solar panels in areas of residential or commercial property that get direct sun, such as trellises and carports.




All the teams' students seemed to have a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and wanted to share what they had learned with the public. It's exciting to know these students will be leading the way in the transition to clean, renewable energy sources. They worked grueling hours to set up and man the houses; here it's time for a well earned break.


 This dog had his own ID badge.







Oct. 2005




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