Rotating homes harness solar energy
Adding solar panels to capture energy from the sun is a great way to boost a home's energy efficiency. Some solar panels rotate to follow the sun, but what about an entire house that rotates?
Casas em Movimento of Portugal has developed homes that rotate to follow the sun as it moves. The photovoltaic array and the home itself can move to follow the sun. This innovative design increases the amount of energy the panels can absorb, dramatically boosting the amount of energy these homes can harness.
Guilherme Silva of Casas em Movimento was inspired by sunflowers. His goal was to bring to life "the buildings in which we live, work and spend most of our time — in a sustainable way." The home's "sunflower effect" is created through the rotation of the building itself, and the rotation of the photovoltaic hood. Their combined movements ensure the panels keep a ninety degree inclination relative to the sun, optimizing the amount of solar energy they can harness.
The amount of energy it takes to keep the houses rotating is equivalent to six 60 watt light bulbs running for an hour per day, which is a negligible amount considering how much energy they produce. In fact, this breakthrough design allows these homes to produce five times the energy they use. By controlling the effects of light and shade, these houses can keep cool in the summer, reducing cooling costs by 80 percent.
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