More homeowners are investing in solar panels as a more environmentally (and budget) friendly energy source. But solar panels work best when the sun shines directly on them, which means they’re only working at their full potential for one or two hours of the day. A team of students at Santa Clara University may have found a more efficient way to harvest the sun’s energy. They designed and built a solar-powered tiny home on a revolving platform that moves with the sun. By rotating to face the sun, the house’s solar panels are able to soak up about 30% more energy that others of the same size, Taylor Mau, one of its creators, tells Business Insider. The design, called rEvolve, won first place at the second annual Tiny House Competition in October. Organized by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and open to California universities, the goal of the competition is to select the best zero-net energy tiny house. Last month, 10 schools demoed their creations at Sacramento’s Consumnes River College.
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