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Good Day Sunshine at the Solar Decathlon

SolarAfter what could have been described as the sunniest of competitions, the results for the European Solar Decathlon are in! Twenty competition houses from 17 countries were selected to compete at this year’s decathlon in Versailles, France. The chosen teams then disassembled their dwellings, shipped them to France, and reassembled them to compete in the battle of brightness.

After weeks of inspections, the judges were unclouded in their decision and awarded the top prize to Rhome for denCity with a total of 840.63 out of a possible 1,000 points. Team Rhome’s prototype consisted of a top floor apartment of a four-story housing complex with adjustable solar panels, passive ventilation, and expandable design. The second place overall winner was Phileas by France’s Atlantic Challenge with their restoration of an abandoned building. Third place went to Netherlands’ TU Delft’s Pret-a-Loger, which retrofitted existing Dutch row houses.

The houses were evaluated in 10 different categories including architecture, energy efficiency, comfort conditions, and innovation, among several others. Each team was awarded up to 100 points per category. The prototypes were monitored with a series of sensors installed in each room and were judged by five international juries of experts in each field. The competition was also open to the public to come view the homes with many teams giving tours of their beaming abodes.

Overall, the event was a shining success, bringing light to up-and-coming solar technologies. The organization said of the annual contest, “The Solar Decathlon unites the greatest universities from all over the world to design, build and operate a full-scale, entirely functional solar-powered house.” It is a huge stage for solar experts to showcase their new innovations, and spread the word on energy efficiency. It’s safe to say with more than 200,000 visitors and the most ground-breaking designs, this year’s competition was a luminous feat for all!

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