Honda and Ford separately launching smart home demos
24 April 2013
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. will create the Honda Smart Home US, a showcase that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility, including the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle. The site is on the campus of the University of California, Davis; the building process will be documented and shared through the Honda Smart Home US website.
Separately, Ford Motor Company and KB Home announced that products from the Ford-led initiative MyEnergi Lifestyle (earlier post) will be featured in the homebuilder’s ZeroHouse 2.0 model home in San Marcos, Calif., and potentially in additional KB Home markets.
Honda Smart Home US. The Honda Smart Home US will feature new and emerging technologies to 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 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.
The Honda Smart Home will also give its occupants comprehensive control over all home systems, allowing the residents to remotely and continually monitor and adjust all aspects of energy use in real time.
Among the technologies that will be applied to the Honda Smart Home US:
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 zero net 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.
The home will be designed to achieve top-level green building certifications from the major US rating systems. With a holistic approach to sustainability, the home will feature passive design elements as well as novel materials to further reduce CO2 emissions from the production of building materials and the construction and operation of the home.
Honda anticipates construction of the Honda Smart Home, at a site in the UC Davis West Village development, to be completed by the end of 2013. The home will be leased to individuals associated with UC Davis, though further details have not been finalized.
In 2012, Honda unveiled the Honda Smart Home System (HSHS) in the city of Saitama, Japan. The HSHS project includes two homes: one is a demonstration-only home while the other serves as a residence for Honda associates. Both feature comprehensive controls of in-house energy supply and demand, and help manage both the generation and consumption of energy for the home. (Earlier post.)
ZeroHouse 2.0 The relationship between Ford and KB is intended to raise awareness of MyEnergi Lifestyle benefits and provide a showcase for electric-powered vehicles, solar power systems and smart appliances. The initiative will demonstrate how the typical American family can potentially save money while reducing their impact on the environment by combining a highly efficient home design with the latest in smart home technology and an affordable plug-in hybrid vehicle.
MyEnergi Lifestyle works by leveraging technology so key energy-consuming devices in a home use less energy, while also shifting energy usage to less expensive periods. At night, for example, when energy costs are lower, a smart refrigerator can perform high-energy tasks like ice making or defrosting, just as Ford’s plug-in vehicles do with recharging.
ZeroHouse 2.0 continues a national rollout of the net-zero energy home options KB Home began in fall 2011. The ZeroHouse 2.0 in San Marcos is the first WaterSense-labeled home built in San Diego County, and includes both a comprehensive Schneider Electric Wiser Home Management System and new Whirlpool smart appliances that incorporate Whirlpool 6th Sense Live technology. The Wiser Home Management System allows homeowners to monitor energy consumption, and provides automation control via a Web-based portal or mobile application. This marks the first time these products have been used by a production homebuilder.
Whirlpool’s smart products allow homeowners to monitor and program their appliances through wireless networks, providing greater convenience and control over energy consumption. With Whirlpool 6thSense Live, homeowners can set their appliances so their highest energy consumption activities happen at times when electricity rates are lowest. They can also receive alerts about the status of their smart appliances from their smartphones or computers.
The higher efficiency of ZeroHouse 2.0 is the result of a whole-home approach that includes additional insulation; upgraded HVAC systems; dual-pane, low-emitting windows; and roof-mounted solar panels by SunPower. Additionally, a WaterSense-labeled home is designed to use 20% less water than a typical new home.
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