In the Solar Decathlon two years ago, Team Germany from Technische Universtat Darmstadt used louvers that had solar cells integrated onto them. This year's designers have taken building-integrated photovoltaics to a new level. They designed clapboard siding with solar cells fitted onto aluminum strips. On the underside of the clapboard is a material that's 10 times more insulating than commonly used products. On the roof are more solar panels, making the total capacity at peak times a whopping 17,000 watts. Unlike other teams, they are not using solar thermal collectors to heat hot water, relying instead on electrical appliances.
October 7, 2009 4:47 PM PDT
Photo by: Martin LaMonica
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