12 August 2013 — Australia’s Team UOW has taken out the Solar Decathlon in China ahead of 19 other countries. This is not only the first time an Australian team has won the global competition, but the first time an Australian entry has made it to the final.
The Solar Decathlon, also known as the Energy Olympics and hosted by the China National Energy Administration and the US Department of Energy, challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.
For their Illawarra Flame House, Team UOW took a classic 1950s fibro cottage and transformed it into an energy neutral house creating “a warm, clean, aesthetically pleasing house – with no bills”, UOW vice-chancellor Paul Wellings said.
This was the first time a refurbishment had been entered into the competition, which the team chose due to the speed at which retrofitting houses can cut carbon emissions.
“The jury saw the need for this. We see the need for this,” said Team UOW spokesman Jack Breen.
The team from the University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra won the overall competition with 957.6 points out of a total 1000, and also came first in sub-categories of engineering, architecture, solar application, energy balance and hot water, and second in communications, market appeal and appliances.
- See our article Illawarra Flame House on its way to China