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First Light is green for go in US Solar Decathlon

Sep 23rd, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News

READY, SET: First Light with the group from Fanshawe College, in front of the newly completed bach. Photo: Supplied

FIRST Light’s energy efficient kiwi bach was the second team of 19 to finish the building stage of the solar house challenge in the US yesterday.

The Victoria University entry is now ready for the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon starting tomorrow (NZ time).

Sophie Prebble, communications officer for First Light, says the team had been working 24-hour days the last six and a half days to get the bach finished.

“The team have all been great at helping to keep each other’s energy levels up,” she says.

“There has been plenty of joking and laughing on site and enthusiasm is catchy.”

First Light was lucky to have extra hands from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, some of whom helped with the original construction in Wellington’s Frank Kitts Park.

A group of 10 students and staff came down from Ontario in Canada to Washington DC to help with assembly and “provide a North American insight”.

Ms Prebble says the extra team members fit in really well with the Victoria crew.

“The groups immediately got on very well together and had a lot of laughs.”

Most of them have gone home now that construction is complete but one student will be staying for the rest of the Decathlon.

First Light’s kiwi bach is one of 19 solar efficient houses set up in the National Mall’s West Potomac Park.

The teams from around the globe arrived in Washington more than a week ago to compete in the 10 Solar Decathlon challenges, which include energy consumption, affordability and design.

They will all be given a mark out of 100 for each contest, which will mean a mark out of 1000 at the end, before the winner is announced on October 1.

Each team will also be giving tours to the public, which they will be marked on but will also show the public how to make their houses more cost effective and teach them about energy efficiency.

The First Light house is next to Virginia Tech’s tidewater house, with Florida State nearby. The teams are getting on like a community, Ms Prebble says, with tools and gear being passed around the site when a team is in need.

“Everyone has been very nice and welcoming, especially the organisers who have been incredibly helpful and available to all of the teams.

Even though it’s a competition we all still want to see the other teams houses looking as good as they can.”

To check out some of the competition, follow this link to the Solar Decathlon’s website.

To follow First Light’s progress, visit the First Light website.

 

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