Zero-carbon Honda Smart Home creates more energy than it consumes

Honda has just unveiled it’s latest smart home which could provide zero-carbon living. The building itself, the appliances within it, and even the car in its garage have all been designed to be as efficient as possible, while materials and devices have been used that conserve and convert surplus energy.

[Tweet “Zero-carbon Honda smart home feeds 2.6 mwh back into the power grid. The future is now!”]

According to Honda, solar panels generate enough electricity to power the home and the 5 seater (and very affordable!) Honda Fit EV, while having enough electricity left over to feed approximately 2.6 mwh back into the grid.

Everything about the Honda Smart Home has been intricately thought out. Starting below the surface, the home’s designers replaced half of foundation’s cement with pozzolan, a naturally occurring substance that is a product of volcanic ash deposits.

 

“A typical concrete slab for a house requires a large amount of cement to hold it together,” Nick Lavers, Gizmag reported. “Producing this cement, which involves heating it to more than 1,000° C (1,832°F), requires significant amounts of energy, while the chemical reaction itself produces carbon dioxide.”

[Tweet “Natural substances are added to the cement to reduce the carbon footprint. “]

Moving up into the home’s structure, double-studded walls and a light-coloured metal roof provide natural insulation. North facing windows are fitted to gather natural light and facilitate ventilation. South-facing windows are fitted have been fitted to control heating and cooling of the home.

A geothermal heat pump all-in-one provides the home with heating, cooling and hot water. The water heating setup is comprised of several tanks. Water is heated in the first tank and is delivered to the shower and kitchen. The water that is used and this turned into grey water is piped into a second double tank which preheats the frigid city water. That preheated water is then sent to four underground geothermal tanks which use the earth’s heat to further heat the water.

[Tweet “Water is heated by a series of geothermal tanks.”]

This “Ground Source Fluid,” as it is called, is returned to the house to be piped through the walls, floors, and ceilings to provide heating. Cold water is used in summer to lower the temperature.

The home is lit with LED lights which use an algorithm to change colours throughout the day. Nick Lavers, Gizmag, says, “Using bright blue-rich light in the daytime, the lights are designed to optimise alertness and energy, while using an amber tone creates a more relaxed atmosphere after the sun goes down.”

Electricity is also used to power the home’s included Honda Fit EV, which has had its engine converted to take DC power, cutting down on the DC to AC conversion. Honda says that the car will charge in 2 hours if the solar panels are in optimum circumstances, and the car’s battery will normally last for an average commute to and from work.

Lastly, every component of the Honda Smart Home is controlled by the company’s proprietary platform, the Honda Smart Home System (HEMS), which resides in a cabinet in the garage along with a bank of lithium-ion batteries which are used to power the system at night. The HEMS is also responsible for feeding power back into the grid.

The Japanese company has not released a date when they will begin taking orders, but the HEMS is allegedly going to be on sale by 2018.

Some of Honda’s other “green thumb” products include the stylish Honda Jet, which has the lowest emission rating in its thrust category, and its multiple hybrid and alternative fuel motor vehicles.

 

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