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Honda Smart Home USA Breaks Ground In Renewable Technology

By Zach White , Apr 24, 2013 05:44 PM EDT
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Honda may mostly be known for SUVs like the CRV, or motorcycles, but the Japanese motor and electronics company just announced a new deal with the University of California-Davis to build on its recent renewable energy focus, with products like the Honda Fit EV –– building an experimental zero-carbon housing project, Honda Smart Home USA.

Honda Smart Home USA plans to be a fully functioning home that actually generates more energy than it needs to both run the home and charge an electric vehicle, like the Honda Fit EV, with several green technologies, some more experimental than others.

“With Honda Smart Home US we will showcase our vision for a lifestyle that produces zero CO2 and that could even save consumers money,” Steve Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor Co. said in a release. “Home energy use and personal mobility account for most of an individual’s carbon emissions. By addressing both sources together, we are advancing technologies that will reduce carbon and eventually transform home design.”

The roof of the smart home, which will be built from now until the end of the year in the UC Davis West Village development, will be covered in photovoltaic solar panels that will both power the house and feed into a smart grid system.

The smart grid system will monitor the power generation and usage of the house, and report both to the home’s owners/designers, as well as the utility company, so it can keep track of what the house is taking from or contributing to the larger grid.

Researchers at Davis will be implementing new technologies to make the house as efficient as possible, including geothermal energy generation, “circadian color control logic LED lighting system to improve quality of life while reducing energy consumption,” according to a press release, and a direct line from the photovoltaic solar panels to the EV charger, which will reduce the impact of converters.

“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,” Energy Efficiency Center Director Nicole Woolsey Biggart said in a release. “We are excited by the opportunity for our scientists to test new ideas for integrated and commercially viable carbon-reduction technologies.”

The house will also pursue compliance with numerous green building standards, with innovative design and construction techniques to reduce the carbon footprint of the building as much as possible.

Honda built two similar project houses in Japan in 2012, the Honda Smart Home System.

More information on the project is available on the Honda Smart Home website.

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