The University of Kentucky has been selected as one of only 20 university-led teams from around the world to compete in the United States Department of Energy (DOE) 2009 Solar Decathlon, a competition to design, build and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house.
Each team selected for the competition receives $100,000 from the DOE to design an 800-square-foot home that is completely solar powered. The structure is then assembled as part of a week-long competition and exhibition on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The decathlon gets its name from the 10 specific areas of competition: architecture, engineering, market viability, communications, comfort, appliances, hot water, lighting, energy balance and transportation. In addition to producing enough electricity and hot water to perform all the functions of a home, each home must produce surplus energy sufficient to power an electric car. The team that finishes the week of competition with the most points wins.
UK’s team is an interdisciplinary group consisting of students, faculty and staff from six collaborating colleges.