The Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon kicks off today in Irvine, Calif. The intensive competition pits teams of college students against one another to design and build solar-powered houses that are energy efficient, affordable and attractive enough that people will actually want to live in them.
Over the next 10 days, the teams' homes will be judged from a list of stringent criteria while the members live inside, demonstrating their designs' real-world capabilities: everything from performing common household tasks like laundry to hosting dinner parties and a movie night for their neighbors.
Check out some of this year's most innovative entries:
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