Solyndra losing in DOE Solar Decathalon, too

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.”

3 thoughts on “Solyndra losing in DOE Solar Decathalon, too”

  1. Truly a joke. The conclusions are priceless.
    1. Total investment by Lawrence Technological University $550,000.00.
    2. City of Troy associated expenditures with site development, water and sewer service, operation, and repair costs $50,455.00.
    3. Facility will be used for educational purposes to demonstrate the working display of green technologies.
    4. Removing and demolishing this facility could cause negative impact that could misrepresent the City of Troy policy on going green.

    1. Annual maintenance and operation cost $3,000.00.
    2. Battery life expectancy is 5 years with an estimated replacement cost of over $25,000.00.
    3. Complete demolition cost and site restoration estimated $20,000.00.
    4. Budget Reserve Capital $5000.00 per year.
    5. Solar House will be maintained by the Building Operations department and most work will be performed in house.
    So it would be cheaper in the long run to tear the whole thing down and completely remediate the site but they won’t because “it wouldn’t look good” for the stance on “green energy.”

  2. Here in Troy Mi we have one of the past “winners” please follow the link:
    If it doesn’t work goto:,
    Then thedec 6th mtg. Item K-02a ALOeTERRA Solar House-Transfer of Ownership.
    It is a hoot to read. Basically, the solar house doesn’t generate enough electricty, so it had to hooked up to utility power. A city worker has to check daily to make sure the pipes don’t freeze (again.) Some of the sustainable building material has rotted. It doesn’t meet Michigan’s lax building codes, and the crawlspace floods. Please pay attention to the timeline in the pdf: 2007 donated, 2009 pipes froze, 2010 status report, 2011 city still working with LTU to fix. I’ve seen hour hands on clocks move faster.

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