This Solar Home Shape-Shifts to Follow the Sun
You're probably aware of the fact that the sun doesn’t stay in one spot all day. This poses a problem for homes that rely on fixed solar panels for energy, which are only able to absorb the maximum amount of sunlight at certain times of day. Instead of just modifying solar panels to follow the sun, the Portugal-based team behind Casas em Movimento designed entire rotating homes.
As the solar house turns 180 degrees throughout the day, the structure’s photovoltaic hood gradually angles itself to ensure that it's always at the optimum angle for harnessing the sun’s rays. The project’s design was inspired by sunflowers, which employ a clever growth mechanism that allows them to follow the sun as it moves across the sky. According to the team, the house’s solar roof is capable of producing 25,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year—that’s five times the amount of energy that’s needed to power a home that size. Homeowners living in a building that efficient could possibly use the excess energy to fuel an electric car or even make a profit by selling it back to the main grid.
Casas em Movimento will start by targeting their structures at the high-end consumers with prices set at over $7000 per square meter. They hope to eventually bring the cost down low enough to make their designs accessible to a wider audience. And if you’re questioning the practicality of living in a shape-shifting house, they’ve got that covered—the rooms turn slowly to compensate for any movement on the outside. You can see an example of these homes in motion in the video below.