Many people looking to go (at least partially) off the grid install rooftop solar panels, but a house purpose-built for solar power is another matter entirely.
The first building-integrated solar energy system was recently installed in a house in suburban Sydney, Australia, CleanTechnica reports.
The house’s rooftop array thin-film photovoltaic panels with a solar-thermal duct system that warms and cools the air. While the top layer produces electricity like any other solar panel, heat trapped between the layers is also used by the house.
Australian steel manufacturer Bluescope produced the $5 million system with government assistance in the form of a $3.2 million loan grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Government money is often an important factor in getting projects like this off the ground (no pun intended).
Whether integrated solar catches on remains to be seen, but at least the public will now get a chance to see what this technology can do.