Recently, the 20 teams competing in the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon met for a design development workshop in Irvine, California. The workshop involved 13 breakout sessions where the teams would meet 1-on-1 with organizers from the competition to discuss the upcoming competition in October. The session topics ranged from Site Operations, Social Media, and Event Schedule and Logistics.
Our team included: Taras Koshkin (Electrical); Tim Weeks (Electrical); Spencer English (Mechanical); Alex Lee (Structures); John Ivanoff (Architecture); Corey Favaloro (Engineering Management); our adviser, Mark Pollock; and myself, Zak Moy (Communications).
A huge portion of the workshop was to get a better idea of the space that we would be working in for the competition. The workshop was actually held onsite at the Orange County Great Park’s Hanger 244, a renovated airplane hanger from World War II. Hanger 244 will serve as the central hub for the Solar Decathlon in October. Aside from learning logistic information about how the competition would operate, we also got to take a tour of the Solar Decathlon Village–an old runway that will be Decathlete Way. Decathlete Way will look brilliant once it’s lined with houses. We also got the chance to attend a dinner and mingle with the other teams including the teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, and Austria. It was great to meet our competitors and exchange ideas.
From riding the Great Park’s massive balloon and looking down on what will become the Solar Village to meeting our competitors, the trip to Irvine really put the Decathlon in perspective. The Solar Decathlon isn’t just a senior project credit for students nor is it just about building a more awesome house than another school. What the Solar Decathlon is really about is gathering some of the greatest minds together to solve our world issues. It’s about innovating new green technologies and teaching everyone about a new way to live efficiently and ecologically. After our first visit, we’re eager to return in October to Orange County Great Park for the 2013 Solar Decathlon.