Are solar-powered houses only a thing of the future? Maybe notâ€”theyâ€™re a thing of the present, too.
Every two years, the U.S. Department of Energy hosts the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., challenging college students across the country to build cost-effective, energy-efficient and livable solar homes.
Students from the University of Kentucky entered their solar house, named s.ky blue, in the 2009 Solar Decathlon. The UK solar house, equipped with grid-connected solar PV panels, electrical monitoring and control, water heating and HVAC systems, Energy Star-rated appliances, and more, received ninth place out of 20 in the Solar Decathlon competition and second place in the Peopleâ€™s Choice awards.
Learn more about the s.ky blue house from student Jeffrey Kellow and faculty advisor Greg Luhan in the video above.
The UK solar house was also designed with special attention paid to its landscape setup and irrigation system. The house contains edible gardens on each side, which not only make the house visually pleasing but allow its inhabitants to live more self-sufficiently.
Watch the video above for more details about the solar houseâ€™s urban farm.