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Efficient Energy of Tennessee partners with UT for the Solar Decathlon

EETN partners with UT Living Lights for Solar Decathlon
EETN partners with UT Living Lights for Solar Decathlon
Courtesy of Efficient Energy of Tennessee

Efficient Energy of Tennessee (EETN) is proud to announce a newly established partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville's Team Living Light for the 2011 Solar Decathlon. EETN will help promote Living Light and has offered to utilize their network to find opportunities for the team to present to other industry corporations and organizations from which the team hopes to foster new relationships and possibly other partnerships.

EETN is the newest addition to the Living Light Sponsor group, which currently includes corporations such as Blaine Construction, LightWave Solar Electric, Owens Corning, and Mallia Engineering Company, and institutional organizations such as Oak Ridge.

For the first time Team Living Light has been accepted as one of 20 University teams from around the world to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. This prestigious, internationally recognized competition challenges each team to design, build, exhibit, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The Solar Decathlon began in 2002 and since 2005, has occurred biennially. The Decathlon holds 10 contests in the areas of architecture, engineering, market appeal, communications, affordability, comfort zone, appliances, hot water, home entertainment, and energy balance. This Solar Decathlon serves several purposes.

  • Provides student participants with unique training to help fill jobs in our nation's clean-energy economy
  • Demonstrates to the public the opportunities presented by affordable homes that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems that are available today
  • Promotes an integrated, or "whole building design," approach to new construction, to create a more comfortable building, save energy, and reduce environmental impact

Team Living Light, a subgroup of UT Zero, is composed of over 120 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty from seven educational departments working collaboratively to fully develop the Living Light concept. The Solar Decathlon project presents a unique opportunity for the University to collaborate with researchers, professionals, and community organizations on a project of great significance not only to the University but also to the State of Tennessee.

The Living Light House will be designed as a large multifunctional space with floor-to-ceiling glass panel walls on both sides. It will make use of a sunspace that in winter can heat the home when the interior windows are opened or buffer against the summer heat when they are closed. Another technology with potential application beyond the Solar Decathlon is a roof-mounted solar array that combines the functions of electrical power generation, sun shading, hot water heating, and building heating. In September 2011, the Living Light House will be transported to the competition site on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

This project demonstrates Tennessee’s role in innovative clean-energy solutions while developing a well-trained workforce dedicated to green technologies. Several regional and national organizations have recognized this project for its ability to support the State’s continued leadership in the areas of energy research and high tech manufacturing, and to influence the development of Tennessee’s Green Economy.

Harvey Abouelata, vice president of sales and marketing for EETN, thinks highly of Living Light's potential to enrich the education of UT students as well as its potential to impact Tennessee's role in the solar industry. "This contest is much more than a learning experience for the students on the team. This is truly a demonstration to the world of the ability of Tennesseans to work together to provide the resources for our team to have the best possible chance to win this international competition.”

Abouelata believes, "a win by our students will make a statement about the seriousness of our community in building the fastest growing solar industry in the world. I believe a win could have an avalanche effect in continuing to attract solar companies to expand and/or locate their businesses in the state of Tennessee."

Twitter Team Living Light

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities and other ways to support Living Light, visit


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