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SunPower Solar Panels Power University of Colorado's Solar Decathlon Win | Cypress Semiconductor

SunPower Solar Panels Power University of Colorado's Solar Decathlon Win

Last Updated: June 08, 2020

Virginia Tech Takes Home Architectural Win Using SunPower Solar Panels, Which Demonstrate Superior Performance in Clouds and Rain

SUNNYVALE, Calif., October 18, 2005 - SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY), today announced that a team of students from the University of Colorado, won the 2005 Solar Decathlon, by building a house powered entirely by SunPower's high-performance solar panels.  In addition to the grand prize, Colorado also won three of 10 Solar Decathlon contests.  A team from Virginia Tech, which also built a house powered by SunPower solar panels, won the two major design awards in the competition: architecture and dwelling. 

The Solar Decathlon, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, was held October 7-16, 2005 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The competition challenged teams of university students to design, build and operate the most attractive, effective and energy-efficient solar-powered home.  The University of Colorado and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (also known as Virginia Tech) each selected SunPower's high efficiency solar panels for two key reasons: superior power performance and aesthetics.

SunPower solar panels generate up to 50 percent more power per square foot than conventional solar panels.  SunPower solar panels also operate exceptionally well during low light conditions, highly valuable to the schools during the extended rain and clouds in Washington D.C. throughout the Solar Decathlon.  From a design perspective, SunPower's panels provide a uniformly black appearance that is particularly attractive to architects and homeowners.

The University of Colorado, also champion of the first Solar Decathlon in 2002, strategically designed and operated their solar home to achieve the winning spot.  Using their high-efficiency SunPower solar panels, the Colorado team operated a home with a full set of appliances, heating and cooling equipment and even charged a solar car that drove more miles than any other team.

"Our rooftop PV system is made of 34, 200-watt SunPower panels, the highest efficiency solar panels we could find," said Jeff Lyng, student project manager at the University of Colorado. "Besides great performance, we found that SunPower's panels were also the most beautifully designed, blending into our building's roof."

The Virginia Tech team came in fourth overall and first in both the architecture and dwelling contests. An event judge said about the home, "Everything about this house is wonderful. It took my breath away."

Virginia Tech placed a high priority on architectural design and attractive ways to integrate solar power into its home. "We initially chose SunPower solar panels due to their unique, all-black design," explained Bob Schubert, faculty advisor to the Virginia Tech team. "We quickly learned that we would extend our competitive advantage by taking advantage of SunPower's high-power output."


"SunPower congratulates the University of Colorado and Virginia Tech teams for their success at the Solar Decathlon," said Tom Werner, SunPower's CEO. "We are pleased that SunPower's high-efficiency solar panels performed so well for the teams during such a long stretch of bad weather. The Solar Decathlon proves solar power can meet our residential energy needs while also being an attractive element in home design."

In this year's Solar Decathlon, teams from 18 universities across the United States, Canada and Spain competed to build and operate the best designed and most energy-efficient solar-powered home. The Solar Decathlon centered on energy: all the ways in which consumers use energy in their daily lives - at work, at home and at play.


For more information on the Solar Decathlon, please visit

For more information about SunPower's solar panels, please visit the SunPower website at

About SunPower

SunPower-a Silicon Valley-based majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY)-designs and manufactures high-efficiency silicon solar cells and solar panels based on an all-back-contact cell design.  SunPower's solar cells and panels generate up to 50 percent more power per square foot than conventional solar technologies and have a uniquely attractive, all-black appearance.  For more information on SunPower or solar technology, please visit the SunPower website at

About Cypress

Cypress solutions are at the heart of any system that is built to perform: consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, industrial, and solar power. Leveraging a strong commitment to customer service and performance-based process and manufacturing expertise, Cypress's product portfolio includes a broad selection of wired and wireless USB devices, CMOS image sensors, timing solutions, network search engines, specialty memories, high-bandwidth synchronous and micropower memory products, optical solutions, and reconfigurable mixed-signal arrays. Cypress stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CY. More information about the company is available online at

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SunPower is a registered trademark of SunPower Corp. Cypress and the Cypress logo are registered trademarks of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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