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Solar & Alternative Energy

A place in the sun: Houses highlight innovations in technology, design

The Solar Decathlon offered an opportunity for visitors to imagine and witness the possibilities of solar power in a comfortable living environment.

2 December 2013, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201312.01

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The 2013 edition of the event, held in Irvine, California in October, consisted of 19 teams from the United States, Canada and as far away as Austria and the Czech Republic.

Adam Plesniak of Amonix, a concentrating solar power company, toured the Solar Decathlon homes and provides some highlights for SPIE on this video.