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Overhead view of competition groundsThe Solar Decathlon is a national competition among fourteen university teams to design, build, and operate a small home office powered entirely by solar energy. Solar Decathletes will be required to provide all the energy for an entire household, including a home-based business and powering an electric car. Teams will compete in ten events during a three-week program of activities on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, in Fall 2002.

The Solar Decathlon is a unique world-class event never held before and will be a living demonstration laboratory for consumers. Communication is a key part of the competition. Each team will have a Web site, provide house tours, and create print materials that explain the design, engineering, and operation of their house as well as the products and technologies being used in the house.

Research and development endeavors in energy efficiency and solar energy technologies have improved our lives. The Solar Decathlon will not only have an immediate effect on consumers by educating them about solar energy and energy-efficient products, but it will affect the future as well. The competition will provide stimulus to the next generation of researchers, architects, engineers, and builders as they prepare to begin their careers.

National Solar Decathlon