Heading into Friday’s awards ceremony at the Solar Decathlon on the Mall in D.C., the University of Colorado team knew it wouldn’t defend its title as two-time champions. They’d made too many mistakes, and hadn’t been able to get their message across to judges. They hoped to at least place well in the engineering contest and maybe pull off a top five finish.
When it was announced before a shoulder-to-shoulder audience of sweaty students and spectators that CU came in third in Engineering, you would have thought from the students’ reaction that they had won the whole thing. The mechanical system they had invented was validated, and they knew they’d soon get to show it off to a wide audience when Xcel Energy – which has purchased the house -- puts it on display in Colorado.
In the overall competition, CU finished a respectable 7th out of 20 teams. With losing came a new respect for the journey. Read about the trip in a feature story coming soon, and check out the final scores at www.solardecathlon.org. -- Jessica Centers