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 come in a variety of options now 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 wonderful homes that are driven by solar!
Situated in the middle of the National Forest of Lake Superior in Minnesota, this beautiful eco-home is the best shelter from blizzards in the -40 degrees celsius weather during winter and from the scorching sun in summer. With black solar panels lining the sides of the roofs, this house stores and generates electricity through 92 solar heat collector vacuums and a solar PV system on the roof. With a mechanical heat recovery ventilation system, the solar panels power this system ensuring constant heat and clean air daily, minimising heat loss through the walls of the home.
A unique feature of this home is the solar thermal storage system where they have 9000 cubic feet of sand and taconite stored underneath the house. As they are situated near the Iron Range where mining of iron ore has been done since 1884, they purchased more than 20 trucks full of iron ore to experiment whether it has higher heat storing capacity compared to sand and gravel.
36 Btrd is a 3 story inter-terrace landed house in Singapore, driven by achieving an ideal environment for thermal and light qualities by including elements of energy efficiency and passive architecture. A key feature of this house is the heated photovoltaic skylight roof which allows increased airflow and natural ventilation all over the house. To enhance this self-sustaining home, solar PV panels are allocated to run its air conditioning system and solar thermal systems are also installed for its water heater resulting in a zero to low energy system. Its rooftop is also completely decorated with integrated solar PV panels or building integrated PV panels. This entire 3 story home is majorly run using solar to maximise its eco-living dream.
This 4,553 square foot, zero-energy home in Yongin, Korea, is the first ever zero-energy house in South Korea and the first to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating in East Asia. With 68 green features to optimise its high performance and to maintain zero energy and zero emission, it utilises green technology to further reduce energy consumption. With these green systems, energy consumption has been lowered by 56% and the remaining 44% of energy is generated from renewable sources like the array of solar PV panels covering 1,754 square foot of its rooftop.
One of the first passive houses in the small town in France, this bamboo farmhouse is truly a sight to behold. With a terraced roof angled at 43 degrees, Karanesheva and Witzmann, the architects of this house, have effectively blended in the solar PV panels with the bamboo without having too much of a contrast creating a perfect balance of nature and modernism. There are a total of 23 panels on the rooftop of this barnhouse.
This contemporary passive house by Paul McAlister Architects embodies the perfect mix between tradition and modernity. By building double chimneys, it incorporates the Irish culture perfectly in this Summer Island house as it is one of the main elements of a traditional Irish farmhouse.
With the south-facing rooftop, the solar panels are seamlessly integrated with the black roofs, further giving it a futuristic look. It also comprises a glazing orientation which allows sunlight to enter the interior of the house throughout the day. This will provide plenty of solar energy for the household.