Solar Barge: The Comforts Of Home, On Water

As far as alternative lifestyles go, life on a boat holds some serious romantic appeal. But life on boat powered exclusively by solar power? With radiant heat, a wood-burning stove and an optional wind power system? That’s the Bauhaus Barge (which comes to us via Treehugger), a Dutch barge currently moored in London.

This is a boat with all the comforts of home, including  a full kitchen, bedroom and living room, with natural daylighting provided via a combination of windows and skylights. In fact, its owner/designer is quick to point out that visitors are routinely amazed at all of its creature comforts and it futuristic layout. As per the Bauhaus Barge website: “Most people’s reaction on entering or seeing Bauhaus is that of utter amazement either about the space, comfort, design features or all. We had people saying ‘it’s not a boat, it’s a floating flat’ or ‘when are we off to Mars, where are the space engines’ but whatever [the] comment, everybody agrees that it is a fantastic place to be.”

Bauhaus Barge

image via Bauhaus Barge

Some central design features of the barge include its chocolate-colored, Germania Art Deco-Bauhaus style 1930s wood-burning stove, and, of course, its solar panels.

The Bauhaus Barge’s photovoltaic (PV) array consists of twelve polycrystalline UniSolar PVL-144 laminate amorphous solar panels mounted to the barge’s starboard side as well as its roof. Why mount solar panels on the side of the boat? Well, in a nutshell, because the barge’s owner lives in London — the boat is currently moored in the Thames.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.