SolarWorld sponsors Solar Decathlon teams representing Southwest and West Virginia

Solar panels from SolarWorld will power model houses designed to suit urban desert and Appalachian region

HILLSBORO, Ore., May 7, 2013 – SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, will sponsor a joint team from Arizona State University and University of Mexico as well as a team from West Virginia University in this year's U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon solar-home-design competition. For the first time, the event from Oct. 3 through 14 is scheduled at a venue outside of Washington, D.C. This year's contest will take place at Orange County Great Park, located in the same region where SolarWorld's site in Camarillo, Calif., has served as a crucible for solar-industry innovation since the late 1970s.

In the event staged every other autumn, students typically studying engineering and architecture from 20 university teams compete to present a functioning home that showcases solar power, often in designs befitting the climate, lifestyles and traditions of their universities' locales. They compete according to an array of dimensions, including cost affordability, design appeal and energy efficiency.

The ASU-UNM home design, SHADE (short for "solar homes adapting for desert equilibrium"), is intended for starter homes to infill vacant lots in desert cities such as the universities' hometowns of Phoenix and Albuquerque. SHADE emphasizes interchangeability among indoor and outdoor spaces, modular additions to adjustability to evolving space needs, flexible uses of dominant living spaces, and structural maximization of shade and ventilation.

The team from West Virginia University, based in Morgantown, titled its project PEAK (short for "preserving energy with Appalachian knowledge." The concept features "smart" digital technologies and passive and active energy elements, combined with architectural features reminiscent of log-cabin construction in Appalachia. "Through its rustic, wholesome design, the team hopes to inspire individuals to get back to the roots of American pioneers," the team's website says. For architectural expertise, the team has partnered with students at the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

SolarWorld has built a leading residential solar business for its panels, including a network of SolarWorld authorized installers. The company offers a Freedom Plan for financing residential systems in many states. Its black solar panels are favorites among residential customers, 36 of which the company will donate for the ASU-UNM home.

"As a company building on decades of solar innovation, SolarWorld fully grasps the power of new ideas," said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the company's commercial unit, based in Camarillo. "So we want to encourage innovation in this competitive showcase of residential solar concepts that comes just once every two years."

Read periodic updates on the teams from student bloggers, starting today, on the SolarWorld blog.

About SolarWorld

SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 2,600 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at

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