Is it possible for a house to generate more electricity than what the family living in it requires using only renewable energy sources? Is it possible for a house to be built of (mostly) recyclable materials? Is it possible to redesign a house without major structural changes?
Welcome to the Efficiency House Plus, Berlin (Germany). This is not just a project on paper. They have already constructed the house and a family is living in it.
- It uses solar panels (14.1 kW mono-crystalline modules on the top and 8 kW thin-film modules on the facade) to generate all the electricity required for people living in it. No electricity bills for 25 years as the solar panels produce all the electricity.
- It uses a large 40 kW Lithium-Ion battery to store electricity generated by the solar panels to power the house during nights, etc. The batteries in the electric cars also store electricity. The batteries can export excess electricity to the electrical grid or import electricity during shortages.
- The electricity generated through solar panels is not only used for central heating and running all house-hold appliances but also for running two electric cars and one electric bicycle (for an estimated distance of 29,000 KM per year). No petrol/diesel expenses for 25 years!
- All the materials used in the construction of the house are (mostly) recyclable.
- It uses inductive/conductive contact-less quick charging system for charging electric vehicles. A power charge of 30 minutes is enough to travel 100 KM!
- It uses an air/water heat pump (5.8 kW) that is used to make hot water using the energy from ambient air outside. It can work even in low temperatures like 18 Deg, which is normal in Germany.
- The walls and roofs are made of wood (mostly) and are insulated using cellulose fibers (among other materials) to enable the building to retain maximum heat. In Europe, central heating systems are used to heat homes due to extreme cold weather outside.
- The amount of energy produced and consumed can be monitored and controlled using two touch screens and two smart phones, on a real-time basis.
- The house has been designed with an open plan and can be redesigned any time without requiring major structural changes. One can remove the walls of a room to create a bigger hall, for example.
- Energy efficient LED lights with automatic dimmer (that work using motion sensors) are used for lighting.
How would you like to build and live in a house like that?
Source/Further info: Efficiency house plus with Electromobility – Technical information & details (pdf). Published by: Federal Ministry of Transport, Building & Urban development, Berlin [www.bmvbs.de]