Smart homes and green homes are the newest wave. Homes that can do and be all that we need for them to be. If only we could create a home that would allow us to have some of our creature comforts when Mother Nature decides to hand us a doozy.
Well, Lixil Housing Research Institute has worked with Honda Motor Co. Ltd to develop a house that gives the residents the option of switching from commercial power to energy produced by the solar system or gas-engine co-generation system. The surplus of energy from this will be available to charge the EV that is parked in the drive.
Honda works at developing products that will benefit consumers, making their lives easier and much more comfortable. ‘Making things easier and more comfortable…’, these words are certainly true when thinking of a house that will provide us much needed energy for our household items even when facing a snowstorm, flood or other disaster.
This concept house, which is being called ‘Next Generation Resilience Home Ie+X’ was built in Katsushik-ku, Tokyo. This house uses solar power generation and gas co-generation. The term co-generation refers to the process of utilizing the waste heat that is created when generating electricity.
This house has the capability for 100% energy independence – utilizing just the photvaltaic (PV) panels and the gas engine instead of commercial power. The excess power will be used to charge the EV by ECOWILL, a power generation unit developed by Honda. This unit, developed for residential use, will have an output power of 980W, or 100V (980VA) to produce a completely autonomous operation in the event of any outage, or disaster.
The unit has a recoil cord, similar to a standard generator, and will stand alone outside a building. The benefit of the ECOWILL is the power to utilize the heat that is generated by the engine. You can store hot water, fill the tub with hot water and operate the dry bath heater.
It is time to start asking whether the human race is ready for houses that will be more self-sufficient. Some people are very ready and some are not yet hip to the idea, but – these technologies are coming for us – it is best to be ready.