courtesy Stefano Paltera  
 
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