ITHACA, N.Y. - Cornell University students who are part of the Cornell Solar Decathlon team are gearing up for the 2005 Solar Decathlon Competition. The team is designing and constructing an energy-efficient, entirely solar-powered home. The competition, which is scheduled to take place in the fall of 2005, will feature homes constructed by groups from 19 different colleges and will designate winners in several areas ranging from architecture and livability to heating-cooling efficiency and electrical capacity.

"The competition has very strict rules," student Jesse Stolow told The Cornell Daily Sun. "For instance, we have to stay within four degrees Fahrenheit of a certain temperature."

The HVAC group on the team spent much of their early planning on the development of both an efficient heating-cooling system and domestic water system.

The team "used existing commercially available components in a unique way to recover energy," student Jordan Goldman told the Daily Sun. "Our energy system passively preconditions the air by passively transferring heat and humidity from the indoor air to the incoming air."

Next fall, the house, which will be built in a space provided by Cornell in the High Voltage Lab, will be transported to Washington, D.C., for the competition.

Publication date: 12/13/2004