October 7, 2005
As the Solar Decathlon houses opened to the public on Friday, Oct. 7, the skies opened with a rain that finally broke the region's dry spell. Although the weather wasn't conducive to collecting solar energy, it allowed the team to test the house's energy system by drawing down the battery storage.
Washington Post staff writer Petula Dvorak wrote about the Maryland house: "All the lights were on, someone was Googling on a computer, a ceiling fan was spinning overhead, and a tourist flopped on the couch and flipped through news channels on the flat screen television."
The bamboo floor stood up to wet shoes and drippy umbrellas and raincoats, although the team had to make a shopping run for doormats, a mop, and towels. The high-efficiency LG Electronics washer/condensing-dryer was put to work on wet towels, good practice for the appliances contest next week.
(All photos in this gallery are by Al Santos, UMCP Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Website