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Heliotrope: The World’s First Energy Positive Solar Home

Posted By Andrew Michler On December 26, 2013 @ 4:00 pm In Architecture,carousel showcase,gallery,Solar Power,Sustainable Building | 9 Comments

Ralph Disch, Heliotrope, solar home, net zero home, plus energy home, sustainable building, first solar home, German solar house, kinetic house, solar thermal, solar electricity [1]

Look, up in the sky — it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the Heliotrope! The brainchild of Architect Ralph Disch [2], this rotating solar home was the seed for the extraordinary Sonnenschiff Solar Development [3] and the modern solar movement in Germany. The home takes full advantage of the sun by rotating with it, allowing daylight to course though its triple-pane windows and energize its large roof-mounted solar array and solar thermal pipes. The result is one of the first zero-energy [4] modern homes in the world — one that actually ends up generating five times the energy it consumes.

Ralph Disch, Heliotrope, solar home, net zero home, plus energy home, sustainable building, first solar home, German solar house, kinetic house, solar thermal, solar electricity

Twenty-five years ago, when Ralph Disch’s hometown of Freiburg, Germany considered building a nuclear power plant built nearby, he fought vigorously to keep it from happening. As he applied his passion to finding an alternative, he looked to the sun [5]. The resulting Helitrope home is a vigorous concept that makes incredible use of solar energy thanks to its kinetic design. Mounted on a pole, the home is timed to rotate 180 degrees through the day, following the sun’s track. The 6.6 kWH solar panels on top produce more than enough energy to make the home net energy positive. A unique hand railing system on the roof doubles as solar thermal tubing that heats the home’s water and radiators.

The home also re-uses greywater [6] and rainwater for domestic use and features a composting toilet system. While the practicality of the home’s design may not have caught on, the principles behind it speak to a genuine revolution in sustainable design [7] that many architects are only now starting to realize.

+ Ralph Disch Solar Architecture [2]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/heliotrope-the-worlds-first-energy-positive-solar-home/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/08/heliotrope-ed01.jpg

[2] Ralph Disch: http://www.rolfdisch.de/index.php?p=home&pid=276&L=1&host=2

[3] Sonnenschiff Solar Development: http://inhabitat.com/2010/08/16/sonnenschiff-solar-city-produces-4x-the-energy-it-needs/

[4] zero-energy: http://inhabitat.com/2010/06/25/australias-first-zero-energy-teaching-and-research-building-unveiled/

[5] sun: http://inhabitat.com/solar-power/

[6] greywater : http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/03/31/the-sloan-aqus-greywater-recycling-system/

[7] sustainable design: http://inhabitat.com/sustainable-building/

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