Smart home produces enough energy to resupply the grid.
Honda’s new smart home produces more energy than it consumes, which could make it a model for energy-efficient homes in the future. It uses solar panels to generate energy, charge an electric vehicle, and feed power back into the grid – all of which is managed by the extremely intelligent energy management system.
Built on campus at the University of California, Davis, the house also employs sustainable building techniques. Instead of using just cement for the foundation, which requires huge amounts of energy and produces CO2, they added pozzolan, a substance that occurs naturally in the earth as a result of volcanic ash deposits.
Inside the house, a geothermal heat pump is used to provide hot water, underfloor heating, and air conditioning in the summer. Grey water from the shower is pumped into thermal tanks underneath the back yard, which is heated by the Earth itself, before being fed throughout pipes in the floors, walls, and ceilings of the house to keep it warm. This process also applies in the summer, with the exception that cold water is used instead of hot.
While the house is packed with green features, it also has another trick up its sleeve, a Honda Fit Electric Vehicle (EV). This has been adapted to accept DC power directly from the house’s solar panels, which prevents energy wastage that happens when AC is converted to DC current.
When all of these features come together, it means a house that is three times more water-efficient, and uses half the energy compared to homes of a similar size in the area. For now, the home will remain a testing ground for Honda’s new technology, but the sooner this kind of technology can be embedded into our homes, the sooner we can start to make a real difference when it comes to the amount of emissions each of us creates.