Two years ago, and again this year, Irvine hosted the Solar Decathlon, a contest in which groups of university students design and build a small, inexpensive, and self-sufficient solar house and get judged on ten categories for how good their house is. The houses (and various related vendor exhibits) were on show to the public at a public park in Irvine, with students from each team on hand to explain their designs. So yesterday I went to see them, and took a few photos.

Solar panels on the West Virginia / Tor Vergata entry in the 2015 Solar Decathlon, Irvine, California

Unfortunately I didn't keep any shots from my favorite of the houses, an effort by Clemson involving a modular open-source design made out of aluminum composite panels, with amazingly lightweight but strong and attractive snap-together wooden furniture. It was also the only one to pack three bedrooms into the 1000 square foot limit for the enclosed part of the house.

Instead, here are some of the other houses, with annotations.