In the early hours of the morning, a small group of people set up a solar greenhouse in a residential street in the northern Italian city of Parma.
“The idea was to use the solar energy from the sun to produce a cooling heat, like an air conditioner,” explains Maria Dolores, a 22-year-old living in the area.
She and her friends were initially inspired by a similar idea, and the couple soon realized it was a great way to use electricity for cooking and cooling.
The idea is that a large-scale solar farm can generate enough electricity to run a large number of small houses or offices.
“It’s a great idea,” says Dolores.
“But we also realized that it’s also a lot of energy, and we need to be careful.
The solar panels need to keep their temperature at about 70 degrees Celsius.”
After several months, the couple decided to build their own greenhouse.
It was a long process: they bought a small, one-meter-tall solar panel, installed a solar heating unit, and made a solar heat sink.
Dolores says it took around two months of work to complete.
After she had finished her garden, the team moved into their own home, and they’ve since used the heating unit for their own household heating.
“We have our own kitchen, and now we have our family’s heating system,” she says.
However, the greenhouse does not yet have a built-in air condition.
The couple is considering buying one.
“I think the cost of solar heating is the same as buying an air conditioning unit, but it is not as reliable,” Dolores adds.
But for now, the two plan to keep using the heating system.
“My wife says it’s better than having to turn off the house,” Dolors adds.
“If we can buy an air-conditioner, then we can still use our greenhouse as a heating system, and that way we will have an indoor heating.”
In the future, they will also be considering using a solar farm to heat their home, but for now they only have plans to grow a few plants.
“For now we just have a small number of plants, and this is a good starting point,” Doloris adds.
For more information, see: http://www.buzzfeed.com/michelle_austin/is-a-solar-hot-shelter-better-than-a…