Over the years, the old-school look of these solar panels have gone through significant improvements and are now way cooler than before! Solar panels now come in a variety of options along with the choice of a black frame instead of the aluminium frames, giving off a sleek but more subtle look. If you’re still iffy about whether solar panels can be beautiful, let’s dive into these 5 beautiful houses that are powered by solar!
Beautiful Solar Houses in the Americas
1) Isabella, Minnesota
This beautiful eco-home is situated in the middle of the Superior National Forest in Minnesota. Annually, it experiences various extreme weather conditions, from chilling winters — when temperatures reach -40 degrees! — to scorching summers. Residents of this home have found a way to manages temperatures in the house using their solar system.
To provide electricity and to keep the house warm, black solar panels line the sides of the roofs work with 92 solar heat collector vacuum. The house is also equipped with a mechanical heat recovery ventilation system that is powered by its solar panels to expel heat on warm days. These systems ensure proper heat regulation and minimise unwanted heat loss through the walls of the home. Another unique feature of this beautiful solar house is its underground solar thermal storage system with 9000 cubic feet of sand and taconite.
Fun fact: The original owners of this home experimented with various heat storage techniques in the early days of its construction. As the house was located near the Iron Range — a major iron mining stretch in the US — the constructors of the house brought in 20 trucks full of iron ore to find out if the iron was a good heat retention material. After extensive tests, they decided to go with the sand and gravel present in the house today.
Beautiful Solar Houses in Asia
2) 36 BTrd, Singapore
36 BTrd is a 3 story eco-friendly terrace house in Singapore. The architects of this house wanted to create a home that was cool in the warm Singapore climate but also had good natural lighting. The result was a modern-looking, open concept eco-home that is powered by solar!
A key feature of this house is the heated photovoltaic (PV) skylight roof that allows for great air circulation and natural ventilation throughout the house. As a self-sustaining home, most electrical functions with the house, including air-conditioning, is power by solar PV panels. Solar thermal systems are also used for water heating. To top it all off, this gorgeous home also features a woody interior with indoor trees to complete its green concept. This entire 3 story home is practically a dream home for environmentalists in Singapore!
3) Yongin, Korea
This 4,553 square foot zero-energy home in Yongin, Korea, is the first of its kind in South Korea. It was also the first house to be awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating in East Asia. The house possesses a whooping 68 green features to ensure that it consistently sustains its zero-emission target.
It uses extensive green technology to main high home performance while also reducing energy consumption. The usage of these green systems allows the house to function to its fullest capacity on just 44% of its energy capacity. What’s more, a large majority of this energy required is also generated by renewable sources such as the large array of solar PV panels that cover 1,754 square feet of its rooftop.
Beautiful Solar Houses in Europe
4) Bessancourt, France
This bamboo farmhouse located in a small town in France is truly a sight to behold. Besides its unique exterior, the house is also one of the first passive houses in Europe. The house has a 43 degree-angled bamboo terraced roof with solar PV panels that are skillfully blended in to create a perfect balance between natural and modern. There are a total of 23 panels on the rooftop of this barn house.
5) County Armagh, Northern Ireland
This contemporary passive house by Paul McAlister Architects embodies the perfect mix of traditional and modern. The design of the house is inspired by traditional Irish farmhouses and features a unique double chimney.
It’s also equipped with a south-facing rooftop that is ideal for solar panel placement. The black solar panels also blend seamlessly into the dark coloured roofs, giving the house’s top a futuristic look. The property’s glazing orientation also allows sunlight to shine brightly on the house throughout the day. This provides excellent natural light and plenty of solar energy for the household.
This article was first published on 6 January 2021 and last updated on 30 April 2021 to include additional details.
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