Solar Decathlon media media coverage heats up

Media coverage of the University's Solar Decathlon effort has recently begun heating up.

On September 16, 2009, coverage of the ICON house led the Fox9 evening newscast (video). The piece focused on the energy-saving aspects of the house, including the solar-thermal system to heat water, photovoltaic roof panels to generate electricity, silicon-embedded windows on the deck, and triple-pane, electronically-charged Sage glass windows throughout the house that darken at the flip of a switch.

On September 17, 2009, published Sharon Schmickle's "Chasing the sun: U of M enters energy decathlon." Schmickle points out an interesting bit about the house's roof ridge: "Because the winter sun in the Twin Cities rises only 54 degrees above the horizon, designers had to pull the ridge of the roof north, thereby expanding the surface area on the southern side for maximum efficiency of photovoltaic and solar thermal panels."

On September 18, 2009, Minnesota Public Radio broadcasted a story by Cathy Wurzer entitled "U of M hopes to win solar house competition." Wurzer notes that the fully-equipped house is "powered entirely by solar energy and is designed to use less power than it generates." Ann Johnson, project manager of the Solar Decathlon effort, tells Wurzer during a tour of the ICON house that the entire house -- including the deck -- is lit using only 500 watts of electricity.