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Rain can't dampen these Broncos' spirits

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013

We've been dreading this day," said Paul Thurston '15, as he stood on the rain drenched deck of Radiant House, but even with a cold front passing through and rainclouds eliminating any chance for generating power through the photovoltaic panels on the roof, the house is performing well. Yesterday was a good day—the team was able to passively maintain the indoor temperature and humidity within acceptable contest guidelines without using heating or cooling and were thus able to store much of the 41 kwH of power they were able to generate throughout the day, despite partly cloudy skies. "It was our biggest achievement so far: we started the day with 5kwH and ended with 37," said Nick Jensen '15.

Towel washing and drying continued today. Taylor Donato '14 explained that the humidity in the air from the rain was actually helping the team with this task since the towels are heavier starting off, having been stored in a damp, drafty tent. "We dry them in our nice, temperature and humidity-controlled home, stuff them in a bag, close it tightly and run back to the tent to have them weighed," he said. Brittnie Swartchick '14 adds, "This morning we came in under the starting weight, but Taylor tried to fool us us that we were half a pound over!" Nice to know that even with the dreary weather, dispositions are still sunny.

Tonight the Architecture jury will come back to Radiant House to see how it looks after dark and check out all the lighting. They had their thorough walkthrough with these folks earlier today and also spent 20 minutes with the Engineering jury. Thurston notes that it's hard to guage the jurors' thoughts; "They don't react too much; as you're explaining things, they have their heads down, writing, so you really can't tell what they are thinking." Tomorrow will give us a clue, as the Market Appeal and Affordability results are announced.

The Solar Village is open to the public Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you can't make it to Irvine, check out this video tour of Radiant House on YouTube. And don't forget to vote for Santa Clara University in the People's Choice Award. 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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