Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Solar Decathlon sponsored by BP

The Solar Decathlon has been held twice before (in 2002 and 2005), and I never heard of it. Have you? University teams from around the country design and construct fully functional solar homes, and then transport them to Washington, D.C. There they are erected on the National Mall, forming a solar village. Each team then competes in 10 contests. Some contests measure performance, some require the completion of tasks, and others are judged by experts in architecture and engineering. The goal is to design, build and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home. Jeffrey's boss lives in a solar-powered home. I wonder if she knows about this? This year, the week-long competition occurs from October 11-19.

BP has been a proud sponsor of the Solar Decathlon in each of the previous years it has been held, and once again this year they are proud to be one of the main corporate sponsors. As part of their support of this event, they have created a blog where all of the teams, as well as a reporter, will write posts throughout the competition. I've been reading through some of the team content posted so far. It is interesting to read about unloading the houses on the National Mall and beginning construction, though I am finding out that these teams have already spent two years working on this project, while carrying a full class load. This will be a great way to get a behind-the-scenes view of the competition. I hope there are pictures and videos, too.

These teams, all these young minds, working together and competing with one another to come up with viable and practical ways to use solar energy. The possibilities are limitless! While the University of Colorado won the past two competitions, I'm pulling for the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign - mainly because I used to live there - Champaign, that is. Actually, I don't really care who wins. I just love the idea, and I'm sure some of their ideas will be put into 'real' use in the near future.

After reading about this BP Solar Decathlon I am also giving BP a closer look. I didn't realize they were so committed to finding alternative energy sources, not only solar, but also wind power, natural gas power, and hydrogen power. They are sponsoring this special event as part of their commitment to discovering cost effective, clean energy solutions for everyday living.