JasonA
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Mon Sep 28, 2015 7:40 am

I'm going to bump this up as we are now getting closer!!!

Anybody have plans on either Fri or should a whole group Sat meet like 2 years ago work?
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JasonA
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:45 pm

What's the story morning glories??? Any ides on what we want to do? It's coming up next week
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garygid
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Sat Oct 03, 2015 3:47 am

Event entry is apparently free, but parking is $10 per vehicle.
No mention yet of special parking for EVs or hybrids.

I plan to go, at least once, and my car could hold 5 bodies.
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JasonA
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:32 am

Just was curious if the group wanted to do a breakfast like last time before the event and then go there? If not, then we and some friends may just head over there next Friday or Sat.

Bummer about the parking... there won't be anything special for EV's anymore
2012 10kw Dual LQ cooled Brusa powered Leaf "Astro"
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Boomer23
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:29 pm

I'm all for a Saturday Oct 17 breakfast at Knowlwoods in Irvine like two years ago, then drive over to the Decathlon. We can at least try to park together and walk around together for a bit.

Viewing of the houses starts at 11 am, so meet up at 9 am at Knowlwoods?

The lines get long at some of the houses, so groups tend to split up based on who is willing to wait how long to see a particular house. So this will tend to be a loose kind of gathering.

I have a family commitment in the afternoon, so I may only be able to stay until 12:30 or so.

Since I live so close to the venue, I intend to go several times on weekdays, especially Thursday the 15th and Friday the 16th, so that I get to see everything I want to see. I'd be happy to meet anyone who'd like to hang out there on those days.
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JasonA
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:57 pm

We're up for breakfast there again and then heading over! If we know how many then we can make reservations! That place was awesome!
2012 10kw Dual LQ cooled Brusa powered Leaf "Astro"
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Boomer23
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:45 pm

I see on the Decathlon web site that one new requirement for the project houses is that they charge an EV from the home's systems and drive around the streets.

I'm not saying that this is a charging opportunity for us. I'm sure that they'll have their EVs all set up for charging as part of their project plan. Since they're getting scored for energy efficiency, I wonder whether they'll be focusing on the most efficient EVs they can get, and whether they'll look into which charging speeds give them the best efficiency.
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DarthPuppy
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:37 pm

JasonA wrote:I'm going to bump this up as we are now getting closer!!!
Thanks for bumping!!! I completely missed this. I want to go. Now got to check with the boss.
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garygid
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:58 am

I will try to join the group on Saturday the 17th at Knowlwoods on Sand Canyon
just SW of I-5. Note that 9 AM on Saturday is one of the restaurant's busiest times.

Since the weekends will likely be very crowded at the Solar Decathlon, I will probably
try to go on Thursday the 8th, or Friday the 9th, but the temperatures are predicted
to be in the 90's on the 9th through the 11th.

So, I am a bit unsure of my attendance schedule.

See you at Hometown Buffet this coming Saturday 10 Oct
in Cerritos, on South Street, just 2 blocks East of 605 freeway.
Breakfast starts at 8AM ... see our SolCal LEAF & EV Gathering
thread, near this thread.

Cheers, Gary
Last edited by garygid on Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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2011 LEAF, 2014 Tesla S85
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Boomer23
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Re: Orange County, CA: Solar Decathlon 2015 at the OC Great Park

Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:23 pm

Hi gang.

I had planned to come to Cerritos this morning armed with lots of brochures and thoughts about the Solar Decathlon to share with you all from my quick visit last Thursday, on opening day for the public. Failing that, here are some highlights for your planning.

Parking: It is definitely $10 per car, no in/out, no refunds. And the parking is FAR from the houses. You enter on Trabuco and then you drive East on the base, over some dirt road in places, to a huge runway parking lot/strip. Since the parking is so far from the houses, they have shuttles. These are huge, new, air conditioned, comfortable white tour buses. The shuttle trip actually takes 10 or 15 minutes.

Activities: There is less to do this year than there was at the 2013 Decathlon. There is no Expo building full of vendors and swag giveaways. There is no EV driving test track. There is no electric bike demo track.
However, there are 14 solar houses laid out on a grid pattern instead of in two straight lines. There are info tents from the three sponsors: Edison, Schneider Electric and Wells Fargo. There are a lot of food trucks and a large covered, shaded tent with lots of seats where you can rest, eat and cool off. There are water stations at intervals. The usual attractions at the Great Park are pretty close walking distance.

Gary told me that some of you want recommendations for which houses to visit to make the best use of your time. First of all, I'd go to http://www.solardecathlon.gov and read and watch the 3D walk-through videos of each house to see what grabs your interest.

I visited 4 houses on my one hour visit (but remember that it was opening Thursday at 11am, so crowds were light).

The Team Orange County house is interesting for several reasons.
A) The team is from four Orange County schools, so there's local interest.
B) They claim to be charging their EV directly with DC from their solar array using a special inverter from Princeton Power Systems. This raises lots of interesting technical questions.
C) The house is using a prototype low energy use clothes dryer that uses solar-warmed water as the heat source. The inventor is onsite to tell about the product, and he's quite a trip.
D) The house has a 3D printer lab/ workshop onsite, and they've used the printer to make some decor.
E) The house has two private outdoor showers.
F) The house seems to be much larger inside than some of the other houses.
G) There is a small studio apartment included as well.

The Stevens Institute house is interesting because it's designed to withstand flooding from global warming without being raised 10 feet above the ground. The ideas for sealing the house from flood surge are interesting. This team is currently leading in points earned, and I recall that they were a strong contender in 2013.

The Texas/Germany team house didn't really grab my imagination, and I don't recall much about it except that there are cute German girls wearing cowboy hats.

The Buffalo NY, team house was attractive in that it has high walls and roofs of glass, which are beautiful, and which enhance the ability to do home vegetable gardening, even in upstate NY winters.

As for houses that I'm excited to see next time I visit, I'm interested in the Sacramento State house because of its overall esthetic design and they are apparently using transparent solar cells as windows. I'm also interested in the West VA/Rome Italy team house, really because of the sculptural arch design that they've used for the solar canopy.

I suggest that as some of us visit on individual days coming up, that we post here with thoughts and recommendations for what to see and what to not waste your time on.
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