A solar-powered toy operates in front the house of Technische Universit¤t Darmstadt, Germany, while people take a first look inside, during the opening day of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Thursday, Oct. 08, 2009. (Photo by Stefano Paltera/US Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon)

 

Credit: courtesy Stefano Paltera

The public tours the international U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon featuring energy efficient, solar-powered homes built by 20 university teams from North American and Europe on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009.

 

Credit: courtesy Stefano Paltera

Team Germany’s surPLUShome took first place in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2009 Solar Decathlon. The competition pitted solar-powered homes designed and constructed by 20 student teams (16 U.S. teams and four foreign teams) against one another in 10 competitions from Oct. 9–18, including architecture, market viability, engineering, lighting design, communications, comfort, hot water generation, appliances, home entertainment, and net metering.

Second place went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and third to Team California, consisting of students from Santa Clara University and California College of Art and Design. Information on all entrants is online at solardecathlon.org