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Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007

Thursday was challenging day, as it was cloudy much of the day, which provided little of the important sunshine to recharge batteries and the thermal storage. The houses were open to the public again, and the contests continued, which included washing more towels, boiling more water, two more shower tests, and driving the electric cars, as well as more temperature and humidity measurements to determine if systems were performing.

The Aggies did well on the contests on Wednesday, moving into 14th place, ahead of Kansas (15th place), Missouri-Rolla (16th place), MIT (17th place), Carnegie Mellon (18th place), Cincinnati (19th place), and Lawrence Tech (20th place). Maryland, Darmstadt and Penn State are still on top at first, second and third overall as of Thursday night. The University of Texas dropped down one notch to 6th place.

On Thursday, Illinois won the market viability contest, followed by Maryland in second place and Penn State in third. Texas A&M placed seventh in this event, ahead of ninth-place University of Texas.

Also on Thursday, the engineering jury toured the house and asked lots of questions about its engineering design -- how the house functions, errors that were made and even what the team might do differently next time? The Aggies did well on the contests on Thursday, which should help in their overall scores.

Friday will be a challenge for all the teams, since cloudy weather and rain are again predicted for the Washington, D.C. area. Friday will also be a special challenge for the Aggies, since their dehumidifier ran more than expected on Wednesday night, draining precious electricity from their batteries. On Friday morning they'll need every Watthour they can spare to complete the contests and coast to the finish at noon.

On Friday the pace is expected to pick up. The engineering jury will complete its tours of the houses in the morning, and more contests will be performed through noon. At 2 p.m. the winner of the engineering contest will be announced, followed shortly thereafter by the announcement of the overall winner.

Saturday, the houses will be open to the public 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. when the 2007 Solar Decathlon officially winds to a close. Then comes the arduous task of disassembling the Aggie groHome for its trip back to College Station.

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