Raise the (Solar) Roof: Students Building Solar-Powered Home

solar decathalon

This rendering of the solar-powered home shows what the Solar Decathlon team plans to build. The home features two 400-square-foot modules and a central connector.

Flip a light switch, turn on the TV or open the refrigerator — you probably don’t think twice about the electricity powering your home.

A team of UT Austin students, on the other hand, has spent two years imagining how to power our homes and keep our day-to-day lives running on light from the sun. They’re building a solar-powered house this spring, which they’ll ship to California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition in October.

The UT team, partnering with the Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany, was one of 20 selected for the competition out of more than 150 teams that applied. Judges will score 10 different contests as part of the competition, from architecture and engineering to the performance of home appliances, affordability and how well the teams market and promote the solar-powered homes.

 




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