Scoutmaster Musings - Solar Decathlon

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Solar Decathlon
Have you thought much about how the up and coming engineers and architects are being taught to work through our highly-discussed energy problems? Sure, we have hybrid automobiles starting to show up and windmills popping up on the prairies, but how mainstream is energy efficiency in the education system?

Well, for at least twenty teams from universities and colleges around the world, energy efficiency is the name of the game. The game is also called the BP Solar Decathlon and this year the event happens Oct. 11-17 in Washington, D.C.

These twenty teams are competing against each other to design, build, and operate completely sustainable individual solar homes. Each entry is judged on 10 criteria including style, innovation and efficiency. They've actually been doing the design and building part already but their houses are being displayed in a solar village for the next week on the National Mall.

The teams this year range from far and wide, including California, Colorado, Kansas, Georgia, Spain, Germany, and Canada.

The Solar Decathlon was initiated by the Department of Energy and first held in 2002. It was then held again in 2005. The first two Solar Decathlons were both won by the University of Colorado Buffalos. Maybe they'll make it a threepeat this year.

The contest is sponsored by BP and is a great showcase for alternate energy possibilities. In not too many years, solar power will no longer be a cool thing to check out - it will be a commodity energy source.
Posted: 23:56 10-10-2007 232
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