Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman announced the winners of the 2009 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.Team Germany, the student team from Darmstadt, Germany, won top honors by designing, building, and operating the most attractive and efficient solar-powered home.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign took second place followed by Team California in third place.
The active competition lasted for a week, with the prototype home designs open to the public. Team Germany's winning "Cube House" design produced a surplus of power even during three days of rain. This is the team's second-straight Solar Decathlon victory, after winning the previous competition in 2007.
"This competition to build zero carbon homes has been a tremendous undertaking and we have seen terrific efforts by all the teams," Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman said. "The ingenuity that comes from individual effort is the promise of our future."
Over the past two weeks, the 2009 Solar Decathlon challenged 20 university-led teams from the United States and as far away as Spain, Germany, and Canada to compete in 10 contests, ranging from subjective elements such as architecture, market viability, communications, lighting design, and engineering, to technical measurements of how well the homes provided energy for space heating and cooling, hot water, home entertainment, appliances, and net metering.
New to this year's competition, the Net Metering Contest was worth 150 points toward the final results and was the most heavily weighted contest. It challenged teams to generate surplus energy, above and beyond the power needed to run a house, which they fed into a power grid.
Team Germany earned 908.29 points out of a possible 1,000 to win the competition, followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with 897.30 points, and Team California with 863.08 points.