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PSU Prepares to Electrify in Solar Decathlon

natural_fusion_houseFor three weeks in October, masterminds of the eco-friendly world will convene on Washington, D.C., to compete in the fourth biannual Solar Decathlon.

“Natural Fusion,” our own Penn State team of architects and engineers, will join the competition of 20 teams from around the nation and world.

To compete in the Solar Decathlon, teams construct entirely solar-powered homes and then transport these revolutionary homes to D.C. for the competition. Teams challenge one another in ten contests, which test the homes’ architecture, comfort zone, market viability, hot water, engineering, appliances, lighting design, home entertainment, communications, and net-metering.

The program integrates the skills of different academic departments and allows solar energy technologies enter the market more quickly. Also, the homes themselves shine with beauty, efficiency, and practicality. (Visit the team’s professional website here.)

Penn State’s group of roughly two dozen students has worked on planning and constructing the house for months. A cutting-edge development, Solyndra cylindrical photovoltaics generate the tremendous amount of solar energy used to power the home.

Penn State Live reports that the nearly-finished house occupies a section of Innovation Park, where YOU can go to explore this magnificent feat of architecture, engineering, and aesthetics. From noon to 6 pm tomorrow, the public (that’s you) can tour the Natural Fusion house.

And it gets better… actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. will speak tomorrow at 8 pm in the Dean’s Hall at the Penn Stater Hotel! The presentation is free and open to the public.

Congratulations to team Natural Fusion. They have yet to compete in D.C., but constructing such a masterpiece is a victory in itself.

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The price of $7 includes dinner, dessert, and live instrumental music, ranging from a viola quartet to traditional Indian kirtans.


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