Many visitors to Washington, D.C., may have been surprised to find a most unusual encampment National Mall – the Solar Decathlon, a now annual competition where 20 teams of college students from around the world are showing off their green dream homes in a competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy to showcase photovoltaics and green building design, the Solar Decathlon is open to the public.
While weather in D.C. turned soggy and cold this week, it didn't dampen the enthusiasm of solar enthusiasts attending the event. One of the main sponsors for the event is Schneider Electric, Palatine, Ill., and its products are used throughout the solar homes. Energy management solutions incorporated into the houses include Xantrex solar inverters, TAC building automation and control, PELCO security, Juno lighting, Power Logic metering and software solutions, Square D electrical distribution equipment, programmable logic controllers, and lighting controls.
As a sponsor of Solar Decathlon 2009, Schneider Electric has supplied the solar village microgrid with design, site, and engineering services as well as the electrical distribution equipment required to safely and reliably connect the solar village to Pepco, the utility service on the National Mall, for the duration of the event. The Net Metering contest showcases these capabilities and illustrates how residential solar electric systems operate when connected with the power grid. -- Jim Lucy in Washington, D.C. Details