Solar Glow

by Pamela Goode

Solar Glow

At the end of Day 2 with two major contests decided and eight more continuously monitored, Georgia Tech is in Second Place! The houses will be closed today for intensive testing of all systems, and the winner of the lighting contest will be announced. GaTech’s translucent siding (stuffed with AeroGel microballs, “the lightest solid on the planet”) not only lets in abundant daylight sans glare, but adds a cool techno nightlight to the landscape. A sort of modular and rather sedentary firefly, if you will. The two interior walls for the luxury bathroom are bling-i-fied with LED, facilitating an easy nocturnal loo-quest as well as furtive web work. And speaking of lighting . . . the SubZero 611 Over/Under uses less energy than a 100-watt lightbulb. I’m sold 🙂

So what exactly does the Department of Energy do while Playing House? They’ll be watching as the students teams wash and dry twelve towels for two days; cook and serve meals for four days; clean up with the cool Fisher & Paykel dish drawer for four days; operate a TV/video player for up to six hours and a computer for up to eight hours daily over five days; maintain indoor temperature between 72 and 76 degrees and relative humidity between 40 – 55 %; run four daily showers and deliver 15 gallons of 110 degree water in ten minutes or less; and drive as far as possible in the electric car on their leftover energy. Whew. And to think I spent money on a hotel room.