By Guest Nicole
One of the many trials of solar power: Solar panels work best if they're directly under the sun, and since the sun moves through the day, a fixed panel doesn't work as well as it could most of the time. A new house solves the problem in an unusual way: As the Earth rotates, the house moves with it. The panels on the roof always soak up as much sunlight as possible.
The shape-shifting house also gives more room where it's needed. "The main drive for the project was to bring life to buildings by adding dynamics to their interior and exterior spaces," says Manuel Vieira Lopes, founder of the Portugal-based Casas Em Movimento, who first started developing the design for the 2012 Madrid Solar Decathlon. "The solar panel came as an option that seemed natural to give the building self-sufficiency."
The panels work so well that they actually produce five times the energy used by the house. Though solar panels and homes are so efficient now that most people might not need so much extra electricity, someone could use the power to charge an electric car or make money by selling power back to the grid.
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