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Students Compete in Solar Decathlon

NSF Award:

NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies: QESST  (Arizona State University)

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A team composed of students from Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of New Mexico are competing in the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Decathlon. The decathlon is an increasingly selective contest to build an attractive and affordable solar-powered home. The two universities that make up the team are partners in the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies Engineering Research Center (QESST ERC), co-funded by NSF and DOE.

Team aSUNm, as the joint effort between the two universities is known, will build on QESST ERC research efforts to develop new solar technology and improve the integration of solar energy systems in buildings. It will also advance QESST educational initiatives by providing a hands-on opportunity for students to pursue inno­va­tions that address a significant, practical need. The house design challenge engages members of the future workforce in a cooperative effort to tackle the complex problem of energy sustainability.

Of the many teams worldwide that sought entry, team aSUNm was one of only 20 selected to participate in the Solar Decathlon, which is held every two years. Solar Decathlon teams compete in 10 different categories ranging from engineering and market appeal to water heating and energy balance, while gaining invaluable, real-world experience in a growing global industry. The competition will culminate in the fall of 2013 with a project showcase in Irvine, Calif.

Team aSUNm represents an interdisciplinary collaboration of engineering, architecture and construction students at the two QESST ERC partner universities. Their project will focus on building and energy systems appropriate for the desert Southwest--a part of the U.S. that is expected to see continued population growth over the coming decades.



  • undergraduates listen to energy secretary steven chu
Steven Chu meets with students competing in the Solar Decathalon.
Adria Malcom, UNM Daily Lobo

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