Home Solar Competition – The Key to a Flourishing Solar Industry In Oakland?

We have had technology for decades to capture the sun’s radiance and turn it into usable electrical and mechanical energy. So why aren’t more homes, businesses, and other institutions using solar power–at least part of the time?

2009 Solar DecathlonTo help bridge the gap–to make the solar solution more workable, Southern California is hosting a solar home competition called the Solar Decathlon in the fall. The idea is to get the most talented young minds to compete to design innovative solar solutions to implement on an industry wide basis. Ultimately you, as an Oakland homeowner, will save money and benefit in other cool ways from these solar geeks’ innovative thinking.

The Solar Decathlon is over a decade old–the U.S. Department of Energy first held the competition in 2002. Around 17,000 students and 112 teams have participated over the years; this year’s battle will take place from October 3rd through October 13 in Irvine.

The Decathlon judges evaluate with the end user in mind. For instance, if an engineering team develops a super cool solar house that can’t be duplicated or scaled in some way, they’ll lose points.

Constraints can crop up at any element of the system. If a great photovoltaic cell extracts lots of energy, but that energy later escapes the pipeline due to inefficiencies in the materials… that doesn’t really help anyone! Hopefully, the organic competition process will inspire cool experiments and radical new solutions to old problems.

Of course, if you’re just looking to improve your energy efficiency, lower your bills, and boost the value of your property, you are more concerned how much it will cost, how long it will take, et cetera.

The team here at Save a Lot Solar can introduce you to affordable solutions for your energy needs. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation about solar for your home.


Image source: Flickr