Adding solar panels to your roof is great, but they can’t harvest the sun’s energy at all times of the day. Or can they? Casas em Movimento (which translates to Moving Houses), solve this problem since they are designed to move with the sun, much like the sunflower does. The home was developed in collaboration with a team of architecture faculty members at the University of Porto in Portugal.
The technology that powers the home allows for the rotation of the main volume of the home and the tilting of the roofs, which maximizes the amount of harvested solar energy. This tech was developed specially for this project. The homes themselves are basically a metal structure that is fitted with mechanical articulations, which allows it to rotate 180 degrees. The movement of the house is set to automatically follow the movement of the sun, so it takes from 9-12 hours for the house to turn. The residents can also control this manually, and a full turn of the home can be achieved in just 12 minutes. The roofs of the homes can pivot by up to 60 degrees. This can be used to angled the rooftop mounted solar panels to maximize solar exposure, as well as to provide shading for the windows in the summer.
According to the company, the ability to rotate the home and tilt the panels makes it possible for the homes to produce 25,000 kWh of electricity per year. They also claim that the energy required to power the movement of the house for a day is equal to six 60 W lights being lit for an hour.
Casas em Movimento need no concrete foundations so they can easily be built just about anywhere. They are also easy to transport and construct, with all the necessary cabling and plumbing routed through a static section inside the house.
The firm has built two prototypes of the home until now, and they are currently working to commercialize the technology. They have plans to complete a demonstration showroom by May 2016.