Team UOW Australia wins Solar Decathlon China

Monday, 12 August, 2013


The first ever Solar Decathlon China - a global, student-led, green building research and innovation competition - concluded yesterday with first prize going to Team UOW Australia, a partnership between the University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra.

The team won the event ahead of 19 other entries from around the globe thanks to their retrofitted Illawarra Flame Australia house, which was awarded 957.6 of a possible 1000 points over 10 contests. This marks several milestones - the first time a retrofitted home was entered in a Solar Decathlon, the first time an Australian team has even made it to a Solar Decathlon final and the first time an Australian team has won a Solar Decathlon.

The technologically advanced, net-zero energy Illawarra Flame home was constructed from the ground up at the competition site in Datong in just 12 days, with all materials shipped over from Australia. This was the culmination of two years of planning and design, three months of initial construction and a six-week journey across the Pacific Ocean.

During the week of public exhibition so far at the Solar Decathlon China, Team UOW has shown over 20,000 Chinese locals through their home. Another 10,000 visitors are expected through the Illawarra Flame over the remaining display period.

Professor Paul Cooper, the Team UOW Faculty Advisor and Director of the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) at UOW, said once the house is shipped back from China it will find its own home in the SBRC.

“There it will be opened regularly to the public and become a part of the SBRC Living Laboratory program. Importantly, it will provide not only a test bed for new sustainable building technologies, but a vehicle to accelerate the adoption of sustainable retrofit technologies for homes in Australia and overseas,” he said.

The event was sponsored by Schneider Electric, whose products were used by the participants to make their house as energy efficient as possible. The winning team had been provided with a C-Bus Control system, occupancy and light sensors, sweep fan control relay, 6.4″ C-Touch colour touch screen and more to help them achieve their energy-efficiency goals.

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