Not only does Team Germany's Counter Entropy Solar Decathlon house have a revolving curtain that keeps it cool, but it also boasts a facade made with melted recycled CD panels, recycled beams taken from the recently dismantled Aachener stadium and reused wooden furniture harvested from bulk rubbish. In fact, we haven't seen any other team pay this much attention to reusing materials at the 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe competition in Madrid. But that isn't all that makes this particular entry from RWTH Aachen University so darn cool - read on for more!
Counter Entropy also experimented with a range of unique energy generating and saving systems, including the transfer of heat flow through carrier-fluids. As a result of this innovation, no thermodynamic cycle is needed and only the circulation pumps require electrical energy. A thermal cooling system also distinguishes this home from other entries that rely exclusively on photovoltaic cells for energy generation.
The decor is really inspiring, especially since so many of the materials used are recycled. Pull out any drawer and the inside will be covered differently, as all storage materials were harvested from bulk rubbish. Light changes frequently thanks to the revolving waterproof curtain that responds to the changing conditions outside and a cantilevering roof provides shade, further bolstering the home’s energy efficiency. This team definitely didn’t play it safe, and we expect they will score big marks for innovation.