An Innovative Net-Zero Solar Decathlon House

Since 2002, the US Department of Energy has run a competition called the solar decathlon. There are many rules for entries; however, the goal of the competition is student training and public education about clean-energy products and design, and its affordability. This past year, Appalachian State University’s entry, the “Solar Homestead” won the people’s choice award. The house has many cool energy-saving features, such as a bifacial photovoltaic canopy which is basically a deck covering that collects light and turns it into electricity. It also features thoughtfully placed windows for optimal natural light and heat.


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