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Clock, scale, hammer, nail...

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013

If football is a game of inches, the Solar Decathlon sometimes seems like a game of minutes or ounces. Clock, scale, hammer, nail...they all factor into the final results.

Yesterday the team hosted juries from the Affordability and Market Appeal contests. The buzz around Solar Village is that Team Norwich will win the Affordability category as their house boasts a construction cost under $170k. All entries with a price tag of $250,000 or less will earn 100 points, while Radiant House, with its $350k cost to build will most likely receive 80 points. The students report that their presentations to both sets of judges went well. The results from these contests will be announced Thursday, so that's when we should start seeing some movement in the leaderboard. Right now, the top ten teams are all within 10 points of each other and our Broncos have held steady at 2nd place, just 2.5 points behind Team Capitol DC. If it weren't for our 3.5 point penalties (3 points for being 10 minutes late in passing the final inspection and a half point for being 20 minutes late submitting "as-built" drawings for Radiant House), we would be at the top of the heap.

Speaking of heaps, our Bronco Decathletes have been dealing with a heap of laundry for one of their tasks. Each team is given a stack of bath towels that have been weighed to exacting standards. After the teams' towels have been washed and dried, they are put back on the scale and in order to score points, the towels must weigh the same or less than when they started. Our students ran into some frustration as the moisture sensor in their dryer kept turning off the heat while their towels still had a fraction of an ounce of moisture in them. They kept cycling the towels through the dryer until time ran out. A quick look at the scores for the Appliances Contest indicates they may have passed the test.

Today, the Engineering and Communication juries cycle through Radiant House. These are areas where Santa Clara has excelled in past competitions and the team is hoping to continue that success. Go Broncos!

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

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