By Cat DiStasio
Want to see the state of the art in solar-powered architecture? Then head to the Solar Decathlon in Southern California where the US Department of Energy challenges students from around the world to create the most efficient solar-powered house. These tiny, high-tech homes are designed to be affordable and attractive while utilizing solar energy for all the amenities of comfortable indoor living, including temperature control, hot water and household appliances. In all, each home is expected to produce at least as much energy as it consumes, which is also known as "net zero" energy status. Read on for a look at some of the most incredible houses from this year's competition.