Dog Blog

U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2009

Since 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon has showcased design excellence in energy-efficient and solar energy-powered home design. The competition challenges 20 college teams from around the world to design, build, and operate the most attractive and efficient solar-powered house. The teams spend nearly two years transforming ideas into reality before transporting their masterpieces to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the competition.Throughout the competition, the goal is to highlight the possibilities that architecture, engineering, and entrepreneurship can bring to a future in which aesthetics and convenience are blended with comfort and efficiency.

At Fat Spaniel, we’re extremely honored to have been chosen by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee team to deliver the home energy monitoring system for their house. The system includes a live Web interface to display energy demand and production. The display, accessible from any Internet connection, becomes a tool for both education and increased energy efficiency. To read the full case study on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s project, and to learn more about the competition and the other teams, take a look at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2009 site.

Another interesting note about this year’s competition is that - for the first time - all team houses are also connected to the utility grid. This is an interesting sign of the times, as the inclusion of utility grid connectivity in this year’s DoE Solar Decathlon is another strong indicator that the industry’s efforts towards achieving true utility-grade solar are gaining ground.

For more information, write back to us at “dogblog at fatspaniel dot com”.