Archives for October 2007

Construction End – Competion Heats

Yesterday, we saw the close to the construction phase of the Decathlon. At this point they are not letting anyone drive onto the mall to deliver materials. Also no work is allowed to be performed while the house is open for tours or during the ‘impound time". According to an e-mail sent by Tom Meyers, the decathlon building inspector, only six teams have finished all inspections and two were practically finished. We were practically finished. The team did not meet the deadline because the transition strip between the laminate floor in the hallway and the tile floor in the bathroom had not yet been installed. Everything else checked out.
We had a late night at the site last night (what’s new?) making final preparations for the tours today. The furniture had to be arranged, The cabinets had to be stocked (for the meals we have to cook). Everything had to be cleaned and polished. Final checks had to be made on the plumbing and electrical systems. And any number of other things. As you saw from the earlier entry, CNBC video taped the house today. It has already aired once, and is schedule to air again at 1pm central.
We are trying to get some pictures up. You would not believe the camera issues that we have had this week. If there is anything else you would like to know about the house, the team or the competition, be sure to leave a comment here.

Catch UMR Solar House live on CNBC this morning and this afternoon

We will try to get my hands on a copy and post it here. Keep an eye out.
The following note is from Andrew Careaga, Director of Communications of UMR:
The UMR Solar House Team, one of 20 competing in the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., will be featured live this morning on CNBC. The segment airs at 9:40 a.m. Central Time. CNBC is on channel 47 on Fidelity Cable Television.
Also, CNBC is scheduled to return to the UMR Solar House at 1 p.m. Central (2 p.m. Eastern) to broadcast live.
The UMR Solar House Team is one of 20 college and university teams competing in the Solar Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The event began earlier this week and concludes on Oct. 20. This weekend, several UMR alumni will gather at the UMR Solar House for an event.
For more information about the UMR Solar House Team and the Solar Decathlon, here’s the news release:

Solar Decathlon Alumni Event

The following message came accross the Solar Decathlon listserve. If any of our alumni will be attending, please let us know by posting here.

Reunite with former teammates and competitors for a night of fun and networking. Open mic discussion about careers, thoughts on solar energy & sustainable design.
When: Friday, October 19th, 6:30 PM –
Celebrate the End of a Successful Decathlon
Where: Washington, DC
Details Forthcoming
Who: 2002, 2005, 2007 Decathletes
Students, Faculty, Staff, Sponsors, etc.
Solar Decathlon Alumni Association
David G. Schieren, NYIT/USMMA SD ‘05
Cristina Zancani, RISD SD ‘05
Catherine Stewart, UMD SD ‘03
Join Facebook Group: Solar Decathlon Alumni Association
If you are interested in helping establish and grow the SD Alumni Association please contact the group on Facebook.

Ariel Photo of House

I found this picture on the decathlon page. (Credit: David Hicks/Solar Decathlon)

UMR Solar House Nearly Complete

Today was the last full day of construction for the house. The PV, battery and inverter system has been inspected and approved. All the light fixtures and fans are in. The Apricu solar hot water system was installed today. We had 100 degree water after only four hours.
Things that will be worked on tonight and tomorrow:
Finish painting
Trim on the curved header
Furniture will be delivered
UMR was the first team to have the decks setup and ready for the event deck walk way to be installed.
Last night there was a bit of rain in D.C. Good news for us! The house doesn’t leak! Luckily it has cooled off a bit since then.

Assembly Crew

Late night Picture of the UMR Solar House Team during setup.

Solar House Heavy Lifting Complete; Now it’s In The Details

UMR’s Solar House’s reconstruction on the National Mall is nearly complete. The girls and guys pretty much kept on schedule rebuilding the complex structure, with both modules quickly placed and assembled and the second story components lifted into place without incident. The weather has been great (if you don’t mind hot and humid), just perfect for those 12-14 hour days of heavy physical effort. On Sunday all heavy work and generator noise was banned to alow the public to wander around the huge competition site, so the team members concentrated on finishing the interior.

Worsksite safety on is paramount so Nicole Annis and Jacobe Colbert (above) install the last solar panels using safety harnesses loaned by Alberici Construction of St Louis, without fear of falling on students simultaneously finishing up the deck systems. The rest of the day was devoted to finishing up railings and rebuilding the main house entry, which is the keystone of the house’s design.

Luke Sudkamp kept busy with a circular saw, but didn’t have much time to take in the sights such as the US Capital in the distance. That will come later.

UMR Solar House Rises on the National Mall

UMR’s solar house has been topped off with the addition of the upper walls and roof sections yesterday. Three 18-wheelers hauled the modern-style solar powered house the 1,000 miles to the nation’s capital. Two of the trucks unloaded Wednesday, and once the house modules were bolted together and secured the truck carrying the higher walls and roof panels pulled up to the site and the second-story components were carefully lifted into place.

The weather continues to be warm and dry, excellent for an intensive construction schedule, to say nothing of having a roofless house for a couple of days. UMR has a reputation for rapid solar house set-up. In both previous Solar Decathlons (’02 and ’05) the Miners were the first team to have their houses completed and certified for operation.