Solar house decathlon
Students from the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences and the University of Darmstadt have developed a house that takes its entire energy requirements from the sun, and won the "Solar Decathlon competition organised by the US Department of Energy.
In Washington D.C., the two universities entered their solar house in ten disciplines including architecture, quality of living and lighting, competing against 20 international university teams. The aim was to have at least the same amount or more stored energy at the end of the competition as at the beginning. One electrical car also had to be powered. The winning house has solar cells that produced 12.5 kW of electricity, putting the students from Stuttgart and Darmstadt in first place.
The simulations for the management of this wooden house with an area of 80 square metres were carried out at the Institut für Nachhaltige Energietechnik (institute for sustainable energy technology) in Stuttgart. It was there that features such as night-time cooling, energy-efficient house technology and photovoltaic shade were tested.
The joint project between the University of Darmstadt and the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs in Germany within the framework of a research initiative called "Zukunft Bau (Future of Building). The winning house was presented at the Ministrys stand at the international construction trade fair, Deubau, in Essen in January.