Santa Clara University

Solar Decathlon Blog Banner

Solar Decathlon Blog

Back to Blog

Wind in their Sails

Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013

You may have heard that the competition was closed to the public Friday afternoon due to the Santa Ana winds, but that hasn't fazed our Broncos. Brian Grau '15, public relations lead for the team, said the closure was actually a blessing in disguise as the team was able to rest and some even caught a nap. They've been going full-tilt. While some greet visitors, talk to the media, or prepare a dinner party, others are vigilantly monitoring the sensor readings of their competitors (which are being updated by contest officials every 15 minutes) and making adjustments to our own systems in accordance. Sounds stressful, but Brian reports the team is in high spirits.

"We're excited. People are loving our house," he said. "A lot of our visitors Thursday were retired people—and our house was designed with this group in mind. Their response is really positive; a lot of them say they would love to move in right now and a group of ladies stood staring at the siding saying, 'I want this color!' It really makes us feel that we hit the nail on the head with Refract House." They are also pleased with the way their home handles a crowd. "We can have almost 90 people in the house and on the deck at any one time," said Brian, "and yesterday we had a wheelchair and a double-wide stroller pass each other with no problem in the hallway outside the bathroom; we were so happy about that!"

Friday was movie night; each team hosted members from three other teams for a showing of "Skyfall" and snacks. By the end of the competition, teams will have had to play that film ten times (yikes!) to simulate the energy consumed by typical television use.

Saturday night is another dinner party, with a Mexican theme this time. Thursday night's menu was Italian and in preparation for the competition, the team got help planning the menu and practicing the preparation from 2007 SCU Solar Decathlete, Frank Altamura '08, whose family owns and operates Ciccio Restaurant near Napa, California. You can find the menu and recipes here.

Media alert: Brian will be interviewed by NBC Bay Area Sunday morning during the 7 a.m. broadcast. Check your local listings and set your DVR or tune in.

Tags: Santa Clara Engineering, Santa Clara University Solar Decathlon, Solar Decathlon, Solar Decathlon News, U.S. Department of Energy

Vote Now

SCU Solar Decathlon 13

View a slideshow of SCU at the Solar Decathlon

SCU Radiant House Logo

 Solar Decathlon

Solar Decathlon

Printer-friendly format