Penn State places fourth in international Solar Decathlon

October 19, 2007

Washington, D.C. -- After two years of hard work designing and building its ultra-efficient, 100 percent solar-powered home called the MorningStar, a team of students and faculty from Penn State took fourth place today (Oct. 26) in the U.S. Department of Energy's prestigious international Solar Decathlon, scoring 975 points out of a possible 1200.

Twenty universities competed in the 2007 competition, the third of its kind. Germany's Technische Universitadt Darmstadt team took top honors this year, with the University of Maryland taking second, and Santa Clara finishing third, inching past Penn State by less than 5 points on the final day of judging.

Penn State placed in the top five in half of the decathlon's 10 contests, taking first place in the hot water contest, fifth in engineering, and third in each of the the lighting, communications and market viability events.

"I'm very proud of this team and the effort Penn State was able to display here," enthused Penn State's team leader David Riley, associate professor of architectural engineering. "To place this high in a field with so much incredible talent from around the world is a great thing for us, and for Pennsylvania."

With the competition over, the MorningStar will return to Penn State's University Park campus, where it will serve as a permanent renewable energy research lab and outreach facility at Penn State's Center for Sustainability, located just south of Beaver Stadium and Medlar Field.

"It's such a beautiful house. Students, faculty and visiting alumni are going to love it," said Riley. "I can't wait to bring her home and show her off."

Explaining the importance of the MorningStar as a teaching facility, Riley explained, "This home proves that you don't have to be in the Jetsons' age to experience clean energy, and that there are lots of older technologies that can be combined with the new to make a more efficient living space."

To see photos, videos and additional information about the Solar Decathlon, visit online.

For details about Penn State's MorningStar entry, including detailed plans and a virtual tour, visit online.

  • MorningStar, Penn State's first entry in the Solar Decathlon

    IMAGE: Jim Tetro

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010