Today was the first official day of the Decathlon competition. It was an early morning starting at 7am at our house site. We prepared the appliances for their big debut as the main stars for the day. It was appliance test day.. our first test was at 8am and was a Water Vaporization test, which consists of boiling 5 pounds of water in a 3 hour time limit. We were able to boil off more than the 5 pounds in about an hour and fifteen minutes. Pretty exciting, considering that our cooktop is induction based, meaning that spinning magnets heat our pot and not the cooktop surface.
With one test down we were ready to attack the dishwasher test… this was an adventure. The wash started fine, except about 5 minutes into the test, water started leaking from under our sink…. not good! There was a small leak that turned into a big leak from where the dishwasher draining pipes connect to our waste water pipes. This did not affect the performance of the dishwasher test and we passed with flying colors. Our temperature inside the dishwasher reached above 130 degrees Fahrenheit (the required was at least 120 degrees).
There are two daily hot water tests in which we must produce 15 gallons of water at least 110 degrees Farenheit in 10 minutes. Our first test was close with our mean temperature being 110.6 degrees, after 6 minutes and 20 seconds we had filled a 15 gallon cooler. Our afternoon test was much quicker and our water reached a high temperature of 133 degrees with an average of 126 degrees, out total test time was about 6 minutes. To say the least, you can have a hot shower in our home very quickly.
We were awarded full points for each water test and are in a good position in terms of our competition for appliances. The Solar Decathlon Instrumentation team monitored our inside temperature of the house along with humidity, desk lighting and the temperatures of our refrigerator and freezer. All of the appliances seem to be working in sync and our temperature ranges are good. These tests are designed to show the livability of each house while also testing our appliances and monitoring systems. For now.. all systems are a go. We are hoping for another smooth day of appliance testing tomorrow as we will be washing and drying 12 towels for the first time.
Wish us well in all of our washes..