Students representing Purdue University at the 2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon placed second using high-performance SunPower solar panels.

The school earned a perfect score in the Energy Balance category, placed second in Affordability and Comfort Zone categories, third in Hot Water and fifth in Market Appeal. Team Purdue selected the SunPowerZ E19 / 238 Solar Panel for its INhome entry.

This marks the fourth consecutive Solar Decathlon that Sun Power’s solar panels were featured on homes among the top three scoring teams. Overall, four schools using Sun Power panels were in the top ten in this year’s contest.

Placing fourth overall with its Self Reliance home, Middlebury College installed the aesthetically-pleasing all black Sun PowerZ E18 / 225 Solar Panel. The team won the Market Appeal, Entertainment and Communications categories, and placed fourth in Architecture, Appliances and Energy Balance.

Competitors from schools around the country, along with thousands of visitors, have now had an opportunity to see and learn more about Sun Power’s high efficiency, high reliability solar systems with guaranteed performance.“- Tom Werner SunPower CEO

Students from the University of Illinois at Urbana Campaign scored first in Appliances and Energy Balance, and fourth place in Hot Water. Team Massachusetts, comprised of students from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, earned fourth place in Affordability, second in Energy Balance, and fourth in Market Appeal.

Florida International University placed first in the Energy Balance category. Team New York from the City College of New York, earned fourth place in the Communications category.

The solar decathlon concluded with a final awards ceremony at the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.

The competition challenged teams of university students to compete in 10 contests over nine days. Nineteen collegiate teams representing 13 U.S. states, five countries and four continents competed for high scores across the ten contests. These included architecture, affordability, marketability and energy balance.