The University of Tennessee team participating in the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathalon is in 15th place among a field of 19 — thanks in part to its pricey Solyndra technology.
As reported by Greenwire,
For the University of Tennessee team, a simple decision during the design process to use an up-and-coming California solar tube manufacturing company has had some unintended, and somewhat political, consequences.
The team spent about $32,000 on Solyndra photovoltaic collectors. The cylindrical design of the Solyndra tubes not only allowed for optimum solar power generation throughout the day but also fit into the architectural design of the Tennessee home, which was modeled on an Appalachian barn.
But this still hurt the UT team:
After team budgets in past Solar Decathlons jumped to the seven-figure range, competition officials instituted a rule that offers a sliding scale of point deductions for houses that cost more than $250,000.
The rule took a toll on the team from the University of Tennessee, whose house cost around $425,000.
What’s the weather been like?
“It’s been horrific,” said Nick Officer, a 24-year-old architecture student with the team from New Zealand, as he looked up at the overcast sky yesterday.
“Awful,” agreed Daniel Alderman, 23, of Team Florida. “We’re here for a solar competition and we haven’t had a good day all week.”