The UMR and Rolla Technical Institute Solar House Team was one of 20 student groups from colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe selected to compete in the second Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in 2005.
The UMR/RTI Solar House Team competed in the first Solar Decathlon, held in 2002. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
"This competition demonstrates that we can have comfortable and appealing homes that use only energy from the sun," says Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "That’s an important contribution to our nation’s energy security and to our environment."
The competition requires teams to build 800-square-foot solar homes designed to accommodate a modern lifestyle. Each house must generate enough sun power to meet the needs of a small household, a home-based business and the transportation needs of both.
"By participating in the Solar Decathlon, the UMR Solar House Team as well as the other participants, will show the nation and the world how to build a better future by harnessing clean energy we can live with," says Joel Faucett of Rolla, Mo., a senior in computer science and project action officer for the team.
Work has already begun on the design of the new solar house, which will be built and tested at UMR before the 2005 competition. The house will then be transported to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and reassembled for the competition.
During the first Solar Decathlon, held in the fall of 2002, the UMR/RTI team’s quaint blue solar cottage — now located on the corner of 10th and Poole streets, across from the UMR Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building in Rolla — placed ninth out of the 14 teams based on evaluation in 10 different areas, including design, livability and mobility. The UMR/RTI team finished first in refrigeration, second in energy balance and third in hot water. This house is now being used as an educational tool for the community where people can learn about energy efficiency. For more information about the UMR/RTI Solar House Team email sunhome.mst.edu.