The team from the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany won first place overall in the Solar Decathlon on October 19th, with the University of Maryland landing in second place and Santa Clara University in third. The German team finished with 1,024.85 points out of a total of 1,200, followed by University of Maryland with 999.81 points and Santa Clara University with 979.96 points. One reason for the German team's overall win is that it won the engineering contest, which was also announced on October 19th. Worth a maximum of 150 points, the contest involved evaluations by a group of prominent engineers, who rated the overall heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, and lighting systems of the homes. The University of Texas at Austin came in second in the engineering contest, followed by the University of Colorado.
In addition, 6 of the competition's 10 contests were based on real-time data from the houses and concluded on October 19th. Although the University of Maryland won the juried portion of the lighting contest, the Technische Universität Darmstadt did a better job of lighting its house, and ended up in first place in that contest. Texas A&M University won the appliances contest by best meeting the requirements to run a variety of appliances, as well as a television and a computer. The University of Urbana-Champaign won the "comfort zone" competition by maintaining its house's temperature and humidity within tight limits. The University of Colorado won the "getting around" contest by putting the most miles—86.33—on an electric car that was powered by their house. Five teams earned the full 100 points in the hot water contest, which requires the house to produce 15 gallons of hot water in 10 minutes or less. Finally, the German team was one of five teams that earned the full 100 points for the "energy balance" contest, which is based on whether the teams maintained the charge in their battery packs after operating the house all week long. See the DOE press release and the Solar Decathlon Web site for detailed scoring information.
October 20th marks the last day of the Solar Decathlon. All of the solar homes will be open for public tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Workshops and educational exhibits will also be available throughout the day. And looking to the future, the application process for the next Solar Decathlon, scheduled for fall 2009, has already begun. The request for proposals was issued on October 12th, and responses are due by December 7th. See the Solar Decathlon's schedule of events and the 2009 Solar Decathlon request for proposals (PDF 648 KB).