“Zero Net Energy” home will efficiently generate and manage renewable energy

April 23, 2013

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., unveiled the Honda Smart Home US project at an exciting groundbreaking event today at UC Davis. The event marked the start of the building process located at West Village that showcases Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility.

Envisioning a lifestyle of renewable energy for home and transportation, the Honda Smart Home US will feature new and emerging technologies to greatly reduce the amount of energy consumed by individual households, and will provide a pathway for the full integration of electric vehicles into the home.

The high-tech sustainable home will demonstrate an approach to meeting the state of California’s goal of requiring all new residential construction to be “zero net energy” by 2020. It is expected to produce more energy than it consumes, using less than half of the energy of a similarly sized new home in the Davis area for heating, cooling and lighting.

“With Honda Smart Home US we will showcase our vision for a lifestyle that produces zero CO2 and that could even save consumers money,” said Steve Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

“As an academic leader in sustainability research, UC Davis is proud to be the site of this innovative research home, which will take us to the next level of energy research and deployment,” said Energy Efficiency Center director Nicole Woolsey Biggart. “We are excited by the opportunity for our scientists to test new ideas for integrated and commercially viable carbon-reduction technologies.”

Technologies that will be applied to the Honda Smart Home US include:

• Solar Power System: A photovoltaic (PV) system will provide the energy for the home and for daily commuting in an all-electric vehicle like the Honda Fit EV. The net zero energy home will generate, on average, more electricity from on-site renewable power sources than it will receive from its electric utility provider.

•Honda Energy Management System: The Honda Energy Management System introduces a smart- grid technology that will actively manage energy use and communicate with the homeowner and utility provider, allowing the home to maximize its energy efficiency while responding to the needs of the electrical grid, thereby minimizing the impacts of solar generation and electric vehicle charging on the utility grid.

•High-efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and Lighting System designed by UC Davis: UC Davis energy research centers will design high-efficiency, cost effective solutions to major home energy loads. UC Davis researchers will explore new methods for geothermal heating and cooling, and a new circadian color control logic LED lighting system to improve quality of life while reducing energy consumption.

•Direct solar PV-to-vehicle charging: Direct PV-to-vehicle DC battery charging will substantially improve charging efficiency by reducing losses associated with DC-to-AC and AC-to-DC conversion. “PV-to- EV” charging will decrease CO2 emitted in the lifecycle of an electric vehicle by avoiding the carbon associated with grid electricity production.

•Certified “Green” Home: The home will be designed to achieve top-level green building certifications from the major U.S. rating systems.

Honda anticipates construction of the Honda Smart to be completed by the end of the 2013. The home will be leased to individuals associated with UC Davis.

News release: http://www.honda.com/smarthome

Photo: Architect’s illustration of the Honda Smart Home US.