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Whilemost of the 20 participants who will be competing in the SolarDecathlon competition to be held early next month are relying on flatsolar panels, Penn State University’s Natural Fusion home will make use of cylindrical solar panels that according to the developers will help them generate more power.

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The800-square-foot house is the first residential project to utilizeSolyndra cylindrical photovoltaics, which due to their unique shape,capture more sunlight throughout the day than traditional flat panels.The system is called Green Roof Integrated Photovoltaics (GRIP V),where the properties of the green roof beneath the panels creategreater efficiency in powering the house.

Witha green roof underneath, reflectivity is minimized and all thatgreenery also helps regulating the temperature of the cylindricalpanels above. From the team’s construction through the life of thehome, Natural Fusion is expected to produce zero emissions, which meansthat the team used solar power to work on the home and evaluated energyconsumption used to make the products included in the home.

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Apartfrom the use of renewable energy, the home has been built fromsustainable materials. The flooring is made from wood siding from anold Pennsylvania barn, and the wall separating the kitchen and thebathroom features an indoor garden with herbs and other plants that cansimply be plucked from the wall for cooking.

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Via: Penn State University [Press Release]