What is the Solar Decathlon?
The Solar Decathlon challenges 20 college teams from around the globe in 10 contests to design, build, and operate the most livable, energy-efficient, and completely solar-powered house. Solar Decathlon houses must power all the home energy needs of a typical family using only the power of the sun. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends aesthetics and modern conveniences with maximum energy production and optimal efficiency. The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition has since occurred biennially in 2005 and 2007.
The Solar Decathlon competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and its partners, and is held once every two years. The goal of the competition is to explore the feasibility of a sustainable home, with emphasis on solar power. Through research, testing, and experimentation, the team will arrive at a design from which they will construct a predominantly solar home. Over 100,000 people attended the first Solar Decathlon in 2002.