solar energy is collected by hot water tubes and photovoltaic panels. The hot water tubes use solar energy to heat water for use in the house. The photovoltaics (PV) convert sunlight into electricity.
The racking grid that supports these collectors is like an industrial erector-set. This approach allows a flexible configuration of the grid. Homeowners can create arrays that are not only photovoltaic, but also photosynthetic, using the grid to its full solar potential with PV modules, or vegetation in planters similar to the green wall. The grid could also be left open, allowing for variety in the appearance of the soaring solar plane.
In the configuration we have chosen to display on the Mall, the grid extends beyond the ridge of the house while keeping the area above the skylight free of panels. This creates a dominant feature visible from the exterior and makes two rows of PV panels appear to float above the rest of roof.
The south wall of the house is screened by louvered panels which pivot open and closed as desired. Like the roof, these panels can be customized, including additional solar collectors and vertical plantings.