Canada’s Cenovus TRTLE team finished their jury presentation at the 2011 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. on September 22 and are preparing to host a movie night and two themed dinners – one with an Aboriginal menu and another with a ‘Canadian contemporary’ menu – in the home this week.
The team’s solar home now sits fully constructed at ’301 Decathlete Way’ with energy-efficient appliances installed and functioning, as well as Aboriginal cultural artifacts lining its interior shelves.
“I feel good, a little nervous,” says Frank Jansen, a graduate student at the Schulich School of Engineering and an engineering team member on the project. He and project manager Kim Gould presented to the engineering jury early morning on September 22.
“We have good systems in place and good reasons for doing what we did,” adds Jansen. “We looked at many ways of approaching net zero and, especially in our climate, we had to use appropriate technology to ensure a high-energy output.”
Gould and engineering lead Adam Cripps, an undergraduate engineering student at the University of Calgary, presented the affordability component of the competition to the jury on September 21. “I think it went well; we got positive feedback,” says Gould. “We met the 30-minute time limit, paced ourselves, and were well prepared.” Results from the affordability contest will be announced on September 27.
Additional juried evaluations that took place on September 22 include architecture, communications, and market appeal.
The team is still fine-tuning the home’s systems for the ‘comfort zone’ contest, measured throughout the whole competition. Points are awarded for hot water, entertainment, appliances, and energy balance for a total of 1000 points, with a maximum of 100 points per contest. Follow the team’s score updates at http://www.solardecathlon.gov/scores_teams_canada.html.
Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer also visited the team in the midst of their presentations. Prior to taking up his current position in Washington, Doer served as premier of Manitoba for 10 years, during which time he worked to enhance Canada-U.S. cooperation on climate change and renewable energy.
Later in the afternoon, the team hosted a public event titled ‘The Story of TRTL and Spo’ Pi’ at the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian. Dr. Reg Crowshoe, the team’s spiritual-cultural advisor and former chief of the Piikani Nation, and Monique Kimber of the Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative, shared the story of the TRTL house with a particular focus on the cultural significance of the home.
“It’s about sharing our story,” says Kimber. “I hope people are excited to learn something new and to see how cultural elements differ between Native Americans and Native Canadians.” In the evening of September 24, the team hosted an invitation-only reception at the National Museum, where world-champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand of the Alexander (Kipohtakaw) Cree Nation also performed.
For more information about the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon and directions to West Potomac Park, visit solardecathlon.gov. Vote Canada’s TRTL for People’s Choice Award at solardecathlon.gov/poll/pca/pca_register.php.
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