An anonymous reader writes "Our team recently competed in the 2009 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The Solar Decathlon is a 2-year competition that challenges university students from 20 US and international teams to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Objective scores are based on comfort control, appliance performance, net-metering, and home entertainment. Subjective contest scores are determined by juries that weigh the engineering design, architectural design, as well as marketing and communication strategies. Team Germany took 1st place due to a large net production of electricity, while Team California claimed top honors in the Architecture contest. Minnesota won the engineering design section. However, looking beyond the contest winners, the main purpose of the event is to raise awareness about solar technology and sustainable design. As part of this campaign, products used in all 20 homes are listed on the DOE website. The most exciting aspect is that the construction and engineering documents and communication materials from all teams are open-sourced for anyone to use or modify!"
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