The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Sep 14, 2012
 

Futuristic solar homes compete in Madrid contest

 
 

MADRID (AFP) - International teams have built 19 sun-powered homes in Spain's capital for a contest that shows off futuristic designs, including one house that swivels 180 degrees.

In western Madrid's huge Casa de Campo park, the sun glints off the solar panels of a futuristic mini-village erected in 10 days by university teams from China, Japan, Brazil, Egypt and across Europe.

One home built by a Portuguese team can turn to track the sun's rays, a French-designed house has walls that move electronically, and a Japanese abode has its own rice paddy.

The homes competing in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012, which opened on Friday, face a 15-day marathon of 10 trials to measure their merits, including energy efficiency, design and comfort.