Home > Uncategorized > Ranch House as Solar Collector

Ranch House as Solar Collector


Upon building paper models of the parametric ranch homes warped by their relationship with the sun, Jason had pointed out how incredibly steep the roof planes appeared. This was a fortunate accident. Rather than modeling the roofs perpendicular to the sun (for solar power catchment), I had oriented the slope of the roof toward the sun. The result was a series of sun dials. Turns out that if one were to provide “fixed” solar panels to the roof, the optimum orientation would be 32.94 by averaging winter and solar angles. What if select homes were purposely included to chart the heavens while others to generate power for the subdivision. Below are two model homes which serve to supply power. These will repeat throughout the project. The power they could generate is stunning (if my math is correct).

solar power diagram

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Ha
    May 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

    it seems a amazing calculation which created an unique shape of the roof as well.
    May i ask you some;)
    Is this the’optimum orientation of solar panels’ calculation can be applied for any location.
    What software you create the model btw.

  2. Michael
    May 14, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    The concept of optimum solar orientation is applicable anywhere where the sun shines for most the year. Consult softwares such as Ecotect or Weathertool to obtain the best angle for fixed solar panels in your particular city. In this case, this was determined as best for the greater metro Phoenix area. The softwares used in this study were Weathertool, Rhino, Grasshopper, Sketchup, and Photoshop.

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