The Solar Decathlon is primarily sponsored by the U.S Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Solar Decathlon, 2007, was the third in the series; the first one was held in 2002 and the second in 2005. It is a competition in which teams from colleges and universities compete to design, build, and operate an attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The competition is open to the public to witness the combination of solar energy, energy efficiency and home design. The event takes place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., October 12 – 20.
This year teams from the colleges or universities of the USA, Puerto Rico, Spain, Germany, and Canada were in the fray to build, design, and operate the most energy-efficient solar-powered home. The competition was in different categories like architecture, livability, comfort, provision of energy for space heating and cooling, hot water, lighting, and appliances. The winner of Solar Decathlon, 2007 (see photos from the event here), is the German University, Technische Universität Darmstadt. To build this stunning solar house the team innovatively used solar shutters and fold-up interior space. The second prize was won by the University of Maryland, and the third prize went to the Santa Clara University.