Schneider Electric Powers Solar Decathlon and Team Northwestern University

Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition challenging student teams to design and build full-size, solar-powered houses.

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, is a lead sponsor of the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, one of the largest global university competitions focused on home energy management. Schneider Electric supplied the electrical distribution equipment required to connect the solar village to the utility service for the duration of the event, provided distribution and solar products to the house by Team Northwestern University and provided more than 50 local employees to staff the event.

Solar Decathlon, which took place on Oct. 4 -15, is a 10-day collegiate competition that challenges university students to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost effective and energy efficient. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with maximum efficiency.

“Solar Decathlon not only provides students with unique training that prepares them for the clean energy workforce, but it educates them about the latest advancements in energy efficient design, clean energy technologies, smart home solutions and sustainable buildings,” said Kevin Self, senior vice president of Strategy, Business Development and Government Affairs, Schneider Electric. “We’re pleased to help future generations incorporate sustainability and efficiency at the heart of their designs.”

In addition, Schneider Electric, who has been a lead sponsor for the competition since 2009, sponsored the Northwestern University team. The house built by Northwestern University, named “Enable,” was awarded first place in Market Potential, first place in Communications and third place in Engineering. The team was also one of the three teams that won the six juried contests and were voted the most “Super Awesome House” by thousands of middle school students that visited the event.

“House by Northwestern is a home that people immediately connected with and represents a model of our capability to provide sustainability without compromise and to lead the digital transformation of energy management and automation in future residential buildings,” said Professor Dick Co, faculty director of House by Northwestern. “We’re grateful that Schneider Electric has been a supporter of ours since day one, and we look forward to continue working together in the future.”

Since its inception in 2002, the Solar Decathlon competition has been a driving force in creating renewable energy and energy efficiency awareness. The technologies and solutions used in Solar Decathlon houses have advanced the residential building industry, both in the United States and abroad.