Solar Dreams

Solar Decathlon 2015

Individuals tour Casa del Sol, Team Orange County’s entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2015 Solar Decathlon, an international collegiate competition to design and build the best solar-powered home. Inspired by the California poppy, the home opens during the day, with adjustable panels letting in the sun, and closes up at night to maintain a comfortable temperature. It also strategically allows sunlight into the home during the winter and provides shade from the sun in the summer. A joint project of UCI, Chapman University, Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College, the 1,000-squarefoot casa, which was on display at the Orange County Great Park, features eco-friendly energy and water systems, wastewater recycling, xeriscaping and other innovations. Team Orange County’s creation placed ninth out of 14 entries overall but was a close second in the engineering category. Judges called it “the most innovative in the entire competition.”

“Whatever goals we establish for the years to come are not for us alone to accomplish.”
- Howard Gillman, Chancellor