Bosch Thermotechnik sponsored Solar House wins “Solar Decathlon”
Congratulations from main sponsor Bosch Thermotechnology on the major success of the Solar House project!
Wetzlar – On October 19, 2007 Darmstadt Technical University won the Solar Decathlon, a prestigious international competition in Washington D.C. run by the US Department of Energy. The team received 1024 out of a possible 1200 points to finish ahead of the University of Maryland (999). “In a class of its own!” was the judges’ verdict.
The Architecture Department at Darmstadt Technical University had designed a spectacular project: a completely energy-self-sufficient house which draws all its power requirements from solar energy while at the same time making no compromises in terms of aesthetics, comfort and convenience. Air-conditioning, domestic hot water production and the operation of the usual domestic appliances are all powered purely by solar energy with no mains power involved whatsoever. The university was one of 20 higher-education institutes – and Germany’s sole representative – to qualify with its prototype. And it won!
The competition, as its name suggests, consisted of ten disciplines. The Darmstadt building was the sole winner in the categories of Architecture, Engineering and Lighting. In the Energy Balance category, too, the university was awarded full marks which is particularly pleasing as the Thermotechnology Division, which was represented in the US by its Bosch and Buderus brands, not only supported the project financially but also contributed its many years of experience in solar technology directly on a technical advisory board and monitored the processes, while also providing long-term assistance with specialist expertise and training courses with reference, for example, to the solar thermal system, the heat pump and the control technology.
Bosch Thermotechnology has a tradition of tackling innovative and efficient technologies. According to Dr. Jürgen Sterlepper who is the member of the Executive Management of the TT Division with responsibility for R&D: “A prototype house of the type designed by the Darmstadt students provides us with valuable information about tomorrow’s heating and air-conditioning technologies. This shows our commitment to a leading-edge, environment-friendly technology! The students’ approach of using energy highly efficiently while maintaining or even increasing the level of comfort is exactly in line with Bosch’s own ethos. The Thermotechnology Division has also been supporting the project because the competition offered a forum for presenting the strong Bosch and Buderus brands to the American trade. European expertise, for example with reference to heating appliances using renewable energies or condensing technology, is increasingly in demand there. But Bosch’s power tools and particularly energy-efficient domestic appliances also enjoy an excellent reputation in North America. These products under the Bosch and Buderus brands in particular offer the company the opportunity for further growth in the US while making a contribution to climate protection at the same time.”
Winning in Washington was no overnight success. The idea for the Solar House goes back to 2004. Construction work on the seventy-square-metre bungalow had been in progress on the Darmstadt Technical University campus since April 2007. Experts in Wernau spent three months with the students working on the design and sizing of the domestic hot water, heating technology and air-conditioning systems in the Junkers test lab. The topping-out ceremony was celebrated on May 16 in the presence of representatives from government, business and academia. On July 24 the Solar House received an award for being one of the most innovative ideas in the “Germany Land of Ideas” initiative whose patron is the President of the Federal Republic. In mid-August the house with its modular design was dismantled for shipping overseas. The modules arrived in Washington D.C. on October 2 where they were then reassembled within just a few days. The first sod was cut by Wolfgang Tiefensee, Germany’s Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs. During the competition the Solar House was lived in perfectly normally in order to demonstrate its feasibility as a practical home. Long queues of people wishing to take a look at the inside formed in front of the building.
The German Embassy organised a symposium on the subject of energy efficiency to accompany a construction exhibition taking place at the same time at which Bosch Thermotechnology North America presented a paper on solar thermal systems, heat pumps and condensing technology.
Dr. Thomas Volz, head of the Solar Heating product group within the Thermotechnology Division, commented: “The victory by Darmstadt Technical University’s Solar House is a clear demonstration of what can be achieved with energy-efficient, easy-to-operate building technology. By supporting this innovative project at an international level, Bosch Thermotechnology has helped to make the world of energy-efficient heating systems and domestic hot water solutions more transparent for the consumer.”
Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH
Phone: +49 (6441) 418 1729
Head of Communications:
Dr. Ingo Rapold
Phone: +49 (6441) 418 1739