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A Cloudy Day for the Solar Decathlon Team

cloudyEarlier this month, Penn State’s Natural Fusion team competed in the illustrious Solar Decathlon. Unfortunately, they didn’t fare as well as they’d hoped.

Along with 19 other universities, the Penn State team built an eco-friendly house and transported it to Washington, D.C. Judges compared the houses’ architecture, market viability, comfort zone, communications, home entertainment, etc. Onward State toured the Natural Fusion house about a month ago.

From the 2007 competition, our rank dropped from 4th to 16th place. :-(

On the bright side, we did achieve third place in both engineering and lighting design. On the even brighter side, we had fewer resources at our disposal and still created an impressive project.

While other teams hired professionals to assist with building, our students did most of the work themselves. As a result, the team finished construction two days late.

Also, we spent a total of $560,000 on the project, while Team Germany, the overall winner, dished out $1.3 million. Do such inequalities constitute a fair competition? They’ve got a whole country at their disposal!

Still, congratulations to Team Natural Fusion for a stellar project. See a gallery of all 20 homes here.

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Other posts by Andy

Fundraiser Benefits Indian Orphans

Interested in food, music, and a good cause? Come to the HOINA Spaghetti Dinner tomorrow evening to satisfy these three interests and more.


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


Homes of the Indian Nation (HOINA) is a nonprofit organization which runs an orphanage and school in Andhra Pradesh, India. All proceeds from the fundraiser will directly benefit the orphans themselves.


Learn more about the event after the jump.

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