Honda’s efforts in creating a showcase Honda Smart Home US goes beyond the expected attributes of zero-carbon home life. It includes, as one might expect, a mobility component that adds electric vehicle ownership as part of the mix. Honda is building its zero-carbon home on the campus of U.C Davis, located near California’s capital of Sacramento where so much clean and green legislation comes to life. So, no surprise here. Construction and project overviews are included at a dedicated Honda Smart Home US website.
The driving force of this project is the state of California’s goal of requiring all new residential construction to be ‘zero net energy’ by the end of this decade. Honda says its concept home will use high-efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) and lighting systems designed by UC Davis, enabling the home to use less than half the heating, cooling, and lighting energy of a similarly sized new home in the Davis area. The result is a home that will generate on average more electricity from on-site renewable power sources than it will receive from its electric utility provider.
An array of other energy-saving technologies are being integrated in the home including a solar power system that will provide enough energy for the home and for daily commuting in an electric vehicle like the Fit EV. A Honda Energy Management System also incorporates smart-grid technology that actively manages energy use and communicates with the homeowner and utility provider. This allows the home to maximize energy efficiency while responding to the needs of the electrical grid in real time. Many passive energy-saving and sustainability features are being incorporated into the showcase home.
In addition to the HVAC system, UC Davis energy research centers are focused on designing high-efficiency, cost effective solutions to major home energy loads. A particularly interesting project focuses on direct solar photovoltaic-to-vehicle charging, which would reduce losses associated with DC-to-AC and AC-to-DC conversion and substantially improve charging efficiency. PV-to-EV charging would also decrease EV-related CO2 emissions by avoiding the carbon associated with grid electricity production.