WASHINGTON - The University of Colorado successfully defended its championship and took first place in Solar Decathlon 2005. The Solar Decathlon is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Using only energy from the sun and cutting-edge efficiency technologies, the homes must generate enough power to run the home for a typical modern family.

Eighteen teams of college and university students from around the globe participated in this competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home. The University of Colorado not only won this year, but also won the inaugural competition in 2002. RenewAire energy recovery ventilators (ERV) provided ventilation in both winning homes.

The University of Colorado home used RenewAire's latest commercially available residential model, the BREEZEâ„¢ BR70. The BREEZE unit exhausts stale air from the home and simultaneously brings in an equal amount of fresh outdoor air. In the winter, the incoming air is pre-heated by passively recapturing energy otherwise wasted in the exhaust air stream. In the summer, incoming air is pre-cooled and partially dehumidified, reducing the risk of moisture damage in the homes. All this is fit into a small appliance that complements virtually any type of heating or cooling system, according to the company.

Besides the Colorado entry, RenewAire ERV was also used in entries by the University of Texas, which placed sixth, and Pittsburgh Synergy, a joint entry from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Art institute of Pittsburgh, which placed 10th.

Publication date: 12/05/2005