Heliotrope solar house

Heliotrope solar house

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Credit: MARTIN BOND/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heliotrope solar house. This rotatable solar house, named the HELIOTROP, is located in Freiburg, Germany. It is a cylindrical building that rotates around a central column to change orientation with the seasons. The rooftop solar panels track the Sun as it moves across the sky during the day. This design, which minimises energy consumption and maximises power generation, mimics plant behaviour called heliotropism. The tubes on the building's balconies absorb heat directly from sunlight to provide solar-heated water. The HELIOTROP was designed by German architect Rolf Disch and built in 1994. Photographed in May 2011.

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