Solar Decathlon: Stevens wins top honors

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Stevens Institute of Technology beat out leading U.S. and international universities at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, achieving first place with the most points in 10 contests aimed at the design, construction and operation of attractive, cost-effectiveness and energy efficient solar-powered homes.

The State University of New York at Buffalo took second place followed by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), in third.

Teams competed in the 10 contests throughout a nine-day stretch that gauged each house’s performance, livability and affordability. The teams performed everyday tasks including cooking, laundry and washing dishes, which tested the energy efficiency of each house. After all contest results were tallied, Stevens Institute of Technology earned 950.685 points out of a possible 1,000 to win the competition, followed by the University at Buffalo with 941.191 points, and Cal Poly with 910 points.

Honoring the students for their participation, Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said, “The homes you built demonstrate how affordable, renewable, and energy-saving products available today can cut energy bills, reduce pollution and protect our climate. You have shown the skills and dedication necessary to advance renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout our economy in the decades to come.”

Solar Decathlon Director Richard King added that the competition to build energy-efficient solar-powered homes helped students prepare for successful careers in clean energy. “Today’s results are the culmination of two years of perseverance and dedication. These students have helped demonstrate to thousands of visitors and viewers how to start saving money and energy in their own homes today.”

Stevens Institute of Technology won the Engineering Contest, scoring 93 of 100 possible points. For the Engineering Contest, each competing house was evaluated by a group of engineers who determined which house best exemplifies excellence in innovation, system functionality, energy efficiency, system reliability and documentation through their project manual, drawings and audiovisual presentations. Stevens also won the Architecture, Market Appeal and Communications Contests.

The University of California, Davis, and Mass/Central America team, consisting of Western New England University in Massachusetts, Universidad Tecnológica de Panama and Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana in Honduras tied for first place in the Affordability Contest.

Student teams in the 2015 competition spanned five countries across two continents, haling from universities in the United States, Germany, Honduras, Italy and Panama.

Applications are available online for the eighth U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, to be held in the fall of 2017. Collegiate teams can apply here.

The full competition results and details about the individual contests can be found at www.SolarDecathlon.gov.