Solar tracking, driveable house

It’s a house Jim but not as we know it

Planners usually allow you to build a pod within the curtilage of your house. This one follows the rules but it comes on wheels. So what’s the point of that? Well for a start there are no foundations to worry about, just a bit of hardstanding will do. Then there is the ability to drive it; 6 powered wheel units (electric or hydraulic) enable you to go for a trundle, down to the pond to watch the sunset for example. Steering is done from the glazed conservatory at the front or from outside.

With the wheels steered inwards the whole house can rotate on its axis to track the sun, making full use of the 6kW photovoltaic array. So yes, it’s all off grid and only needs to dock occasionally to empty some tanks and to refill others.

Is it worth all the bother? Absolutely, for rental to eco enthusiasts this is a thrilling bit of kit. Imagine their delight when their pod comes round the corner to pick them up and take them to some lovely spot – all filmed from various points to give them a memento of an amazing experience. You can charge a lot more for that than if you were just offering a shed.

rotating house

If you want to use this on your piece of land you might put a 3-point hitch on the back and call it a tractor – great to sit in a comfy chair while you mow the lawn!

N.B. Based on the rules and with proper panel dimensions this is a preliminary sketch to see what it might look like. The wheels could be a bit chunkier.  The space invaders look is intentional.

Below is a slightly bigger one with a different look.

16 panels, 6kW with another 14% through tracking the sun. Makes a useful UPS with it’s batteries. This machine will easily run your heat pump so it’s going to solve your heating problem too – at least an extra £1,000 in your pocket every year.

So, £3,000 worth of electricity, £1,000 heating savings and over £1,000 a week on Airbnb + sales of the book and the experience video. Compare this with a buy to let house and with a build cost of circa £60,000 it doesn’t seem so mad after all.
Guests are filmed as the house arrives, they get in and it  does a 180 before driving away to the viewing spot where there is a facilities block along with power and TV hookup.
Part of the drama is the house slowly turning to face the sun 🌻 a few times a day.
Steering… Just 2 positions for each wheel, straight or to centre …. done by air or hydraulic rams on the steering arms.
Drive suggestion.  Electric motor drives centre pair linked by chain. Drive shaft across to the other side so all four central wheels are driven… Reverse box – Quaife – on the cross shaft for rotate/solar tracking action. Outside wheels not driven. Steering is simple. Straight ahead or back, stop to turn and then go again.
Suspension… Some common easy to get car stuff. Rangie wheels.
Half the panels are quite steep so parking with a pond on the south side would make a big difference.

driveable house