Solar Decathlon | World’s Biggest Contest for the Best Solar House (HD 1080p)

Los Angeles, the so-called “horizontal city”. Two hours’ drive from the city center is an old military airport, the venue of the Solar Decathlon. It is the world’s most demanding and important competition for sustainable construction, an olympic decathlon for innovative solar houses the americans won’t miss.
What you will see here is truly futuristic: homes where certain components are able to move apart on tracks, homes that look like a metal shed or haybarn and still are masterpieces of technology. 300.000 visitors come to get a glimpse into future living.

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I’ve gotten some comments from people saying this is illegal in some places. This video is not meant to imply that you can just connect to the grid and feed back into it without an agreement with your local utility, it is just intended to show you one way you can easily grid tie and backfeed if you have an agreement or want to get one with your local utility to grid tie.

I thought I’d have to spend a lot of money, but it ended up being cheaper than ever to get my solar system feeding back into the grid.

It used to be that you had to invest a lot of money in a solar power system. Despite that solar panels eventually paid for themselves in energy cost savings, it was a really expensive initial investment. Then there were government tax credits for renewable energy that made solar systems much more affordable to the average American. This led to the increased production of solar panels and the driving down of prices. Now technological advance is bringing costs down even more, and the technical know how to set up a solar power system like this is simpler than ever.

If you are still using grid power from fossil fuel you are propping up people and corporations that are responsible for our current government and for the system we have that benefits corporate interests over the public interest. The best way to ensure that these people lose power is to stop giving them money by becoming energy independent. It’s never been easier or cheaper, so why aren’t you doing it?

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25 Responses to Solar Decathlon | World’s Biggest Contest for the Best Solar House (HD 1080p)

  1. Multiple Arts says:

    Congratulations, Team Austria!

  2. Kenz300 x says:

    Energy efficiency makes for a more comfortable home,  Adding insulation, sealing air leaks and buying efficient appliances makes a home much more enjoyable and saves money on utility costs.

  3. RedShipsofSpainAgain says:

    16:11 "…who will judge the food and the general ambiance." Wait, the house score is dependent on the quality of cooking??? This makes no sense. Keep it more objective. It's an energy efficiency competition, not Top Chef.

  4. paul8kangas says:

    If your college has built a solar home, after you are done with it in Denver, I ask you to please air lift it to Puerto Rico Oct 14, so carpenters can copy it & make thousands of copies to rebuild PR.   Youtube: Paul8kangas,  dr8kangas    It costs less to live in a solar home, because by passing a Solar Payment Policy requires Utilities, not the gov., the Utilities pay $0.99 kwh to solar homeowners.   This gives more power to the working class to generate energy, & so shuts down all nukes, gas, oil & coal.

  5. Kenz300 x says:

    Every new home should come with solar panels and battery storage.

  6. Owen Gibson says:

    if you connect your panels in series instead of parallel you can up your voltage but end up with the same amount of watts so you could use the microconverters

  7. cora reveles says:

    I think you should, if you can, show a video of how to buy, install and hookup 1 solar panel and micro converter at a time. This way more people will be motivated to turn to solar power, while being able to afford it. Then maybe within 1 year of doing 1 panel at a time method most people could become fully solar powered. Just an idea! Thanks for all your great videos

  8. mary davis says:

    contact altE store for best info.    net metering will soon be a thing of the past      off grid is the best or hybrid system.      great vif.

  9. ecostudio says:

    There is so much good info on the internet re: solar electric. One factor to be wiser about is battery life. Lithium is expensive but will last many times longer than lead acid so look beyond first cost and be prepared to monitor: Unfortunately the government is reversing direction (just like the Reagan years) so look for costs to go up and subsidies to go away. And altho' Will Prowse's videos and book are aimed at van and RV dwellers, I find his advice and how-to's helpful: & (I am not connected in any way to these resources). Best regards, Rich

  10. Ralph Hernandez says:

    Do you have a safety system that shuts off the power back feed to the grid when there is a power outage?

  11. Ralph Hernandez says:

    They should work just hook them in series instead of parallel to meet the voltage

  12. Pedro Garces says:

    You can connect them in series and create a 24v input for each inverter. This will give you the requirements from the micro inverter. The serials connect are connected by attaching the positive of one panel to the negative of the other. The remaining 2 wires will be the input into the micro inverter

  13. ulisses salvador says:

    Have you tried using UPS instead of inverter?

  14. Terry Miller says:

    Take 2 panels in series the parallel two two pairs to get 24v or put ll in series to get48 volts.

  15. Ben Jordan says:

    Will this work with a smart meter ?

  16. Aaron Aaron says:

    Use all of your electrical devices during the day and you may not be back feeding, but consuming everything you are producing during the day, and not using the grid as much during the night since you did most of your electrical needs during the day.

  17. Pop's Shack says:

    Panels aren't getting cheaper because of government subsidies.

  18. Four ZeroFour says:

    You could (possibly) wire two of those panels in series, and connect them to a micro inverter. That would kind of mimic a larger '24 volt nominal' panel. Check of course that the micro inverter can handle the output of the panels though, for safety. (Should only 'use' what they can handle but… cheap Chinese things… never know. :P)

    Those inverters like you got are fine, if you don't need it to be UL listed.

  19. nlewis1111 says:

    Good video. Thanks Dan. They finally allow net metering here in Lubbock, TX, but I use so little power, usually less than 50kWh/mo that it would actually cost me more to do net metering because they increase the base fee from like $8 to $20/mo and you don't get any money back from producing more than you consume, you only get what you use cancelled out. I've thought about doing it anyway, just to get the co-op workers more experience-maybe eventually they'll make the terms better if enough people do it. I guess it might still make sense for large consumers. I've got most of the components for an off grid system, so I guess I'll probably do that first.

  20. Ron Powell says:

    Check the laws where you live before you do this. In my area this is illegal and could get you in a lot of trouble. A battery solar system is a better way to go.

  21. SolarizeYourLife says:

    They just passed a a tariff on all overseas panels so no more cheap Chinese panels at half price… Only if you have a analog meter on your house still, my utility just switched out my analog for a 'smart meter' which now you have to actually get their permission to backfeed onto the grid I can no longer do it with meter!
    I now have to get batteries and a limiter grid-tied inverter to tie into the house, the limiter inverter will not allow feedback on to the grid…

  22. FPVREVIEWS says:

    Just connect the panels in series, in pairs.
    Enphase micro inverters will not burn out, they just reach saturation, and then use only that much power. They actually recommend oversizing the panels in order to achieve maximum watts per dollar spent on the inverter.
    They can handle 60 -72 cell panels. If your panels are 12v nominal, they re probably 36cell panels. hook 2 of them in series, and there you have 72 cells and the right voltage.
    Enphase M250 or other size micro-inverter should work fine, just check hertz, and line voltage. if you have 250v, then power the overall 250, not just one leg.
    you can pick them up for about 75 dis each used on eBay. they re like 125 new each.

  23. James Chuaycham ป้อม ศักดิ์ชัย says:

    Can we install them easily ourselves?

    I am thinking for manufacturing solar panels and installation inexpensively much less than solar companies are charging home owners. This will reduce cost of ownership and make them affordable for more home owners.

  24. Dianne Risdon says:

    Thanks again Dan, for putting things in perspective.

  25. Dianne Risdon says:

    Thanks Dan. As always, you provide some great information. Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of Dancing Rabbit Eco village.

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