After two years of designing and building the solar-powered home, Desert Sol, UNLV’s Team Las Vegas celebrated the near-completion of the home Friday before the team heads to the competition in Irvine, Calif.
“To see what this team has done in the last 18 months, including designing the home, constructing the home and gathering community support is truly remarkable,” said Tom Piechota, UNLV Interim Vice President for Research.
Nearly 80 UNLV students and 20 faculty and staff members have been working on the project since 2011. They’ve weathered flash floods in the construction site and worked through days of 117-degree temperatures.
“This has been a life-learning experience for us,” said Jinger Zeng, Project Engineer and an engineering graduate student. “But I tell students you have to get involved in your education. It will make your experience ridiculously awesome.”
NV Energy Foundation presented Team Las Vegas with a $100,000 gift toward the project, which will assist with transporting the home to the competition.
The home will leave for Irvine in mid-September. Many members of the team will reside in Irvine for nearly a month while they set up the home at the Orange County Great Park. The competition will occur from Oct. 3 to Oct. 13. The public exhibit days in Irvine are Oct. 3 to 6, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Oct. 10 to 13, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
UNLV is among 20 teams selected from universities around the world to compete in this prestigious contest.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 is an international competition with the goal of education the public about energy-saving residential designs. It requires collegiate teams to design, build and maintain a sustainable solar-powered home. This is a student-run project, with guidance and support from faculty members, industry mentors and community supporters.
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 27,000 students and 2,900 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus in dynamic Southern Nevada and is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.