World’s First 360° Rotating Solar Home Generates Renewable, Emissions Free & CO2 Neutral Energy — 5X than it Uses

The Heliotrope in Freiburg, designed by the German architect Rolf Disch, is the world’s first home that generates more power than it uses. The cylindrical building —with triple-paned thermal insulated glass on one side, and highly thermally insulated on the other — is named after the principle of heliotrope plants that turn their leaves according to the sun’s position, maximizing their energy production. The self-sustaining rotating building is completely built from wood, and includes a central wood column that carries and rotates the entire building’s structure.

Disch built the Heliotrope in 1994 as an alternative to Germany’s plan to build a nuclear power plant in Freiburg. Disch calls it PlusEnergy and it believes it is a “fundamental environmental imperative” that homes are built with this concept in mind.

PlusEnergy is a dual solution which exceeds the highest ecological standards and puts money back in the pockets of owners. Rolf Disch has proved that ecology and economy, function and form can be happily combined to bring double profits: for investors and the environment.”

 

The Heliotrope website details:

“The optimization of ecological technology comes into the works with solar heat, earth-to-air heat exchangers, a wood pellet oven, ventilation with heat recovery, and low temperature radiant ceiling and floor heating. The collected rainwater is automatically filtered and reused. Garbage and feces is decomposed in an odorless dry composting, while the sewage water is clarified in a vegetated cascade pond in the homes’ front yard. In these manners the building is not only perfectly aligned with sun rays for energy use and gain, rather it saves resources, it relinquishes environmentally harmful chemicals and it is integrated in the natural water cycle.”

A 6.6 kW photo-voltaic solar unit on Heliotrope’s roof produces around 9000 kW per year, which is 5-6 times more energy than the building expends. The panels, high-wind proof with a fivefold safety system, rotate independently to track the sun throughout the day. A unique hand railing system on the roof doubles as a solar thermal water heater, warming the home’s water and radiators. Through these panels and the railing system, the house is able to heat itself, cool itself, and provide electricity with a 400% extra boon of leftover power.

A “Solar Village” has sprung up around the Heliotrope; all of the buildings in the village have large photovoltaic roofs and produce 4x more energy than they consume. The Heliotrope template has been used to build an energy-producing showroom at Hansgrohe’s plant in Offenburg.

A 6.6 kW photo-voltaic solar unit on Heliotrope’s roof produces around 9000 kW per year, which is 5-6 times more energy than the building expends. The panels, high-wind proof with a fivefold safety system, rotate independently to track the sun throughout the day. A unique hand railing system on the roof doubles as a solar thermal water heater, warming the home’s water and radiators. Through these panels and the railing system, the house is able to heat itself, cool itself, and provide electricity with a 400% extra boon of leftover power.

A “Solar Village” has sprung up around the Heliotrope; all of the buildings in the village have large photovoltaic roofs and produce 4x more energy than they consume. The Heliotrope template has been used to build an energy-producing showroom at Hansgrohe’s plant in Offenburg.

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