Energizing the World: AUI to Participate in Solar Decathlon Africa



After much deliberation, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) has been selected to compete in this year’s Solar Decathlon Africa.


Founded in 2016, the Solar Decathlon Africa is a prestigious, international competition created in consortium by the United States Department of Energy, the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water, and the Environment (MEMEE), and the Moroccan Research Institute in Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN). The competition seeks to challenge universities from around the world to design, build, and operate full-size solar-powered houses.


AUI’s participation is made all the more exciting by the fact that this year will be the first edition to ever be held in Morocco. Organizational efforts on Morocco’s part have been spearheaded by the Moroccan Research Institute in Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN) and Mohammed VI Polytechnique University (UM6P).


The AUI team - which consists of both graduate (SEM and PhD students) and undergraduate students, led by School of Science and Engineering faculty members - will face nineteen other teams from across 40 multidisciplinary universities from 20 different countries, including South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Mali, Nigeria, Congo Democratic Republic, Senegal, Tanzania, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Germany, France, Italy, Romania, Algeria, United States, Malaysia, and India. The teams will spend 18 months designing and developing energy-efficient homes that employ solar energy. The candidates are pitted against one another in ten distinct contests, the victors of which are deduced by judges who take into account the teams’ innovation, water use/recycling strategies, smart energy use, market potential, architectural / engineering design, energy-efficient heating / cooling systems, appliances, and electronics, occupant health / comfort, and communications.


The first international workshop took place on May 4th and 5th at the Benguerir Green Energy Park. The event was attended by Solar Decathlon’s founder, Mr. Richard King, as well as a number of additional officials, experts, researchers, and former participants. The two-day workshop discussed the competition’s rules, regulations, and next steps.


For more information, please visit Solar Decathlon Africa Website http://solardecathlonafrica.com/.