For power generation, Inter House is using two types of solar panels. First, a typical high efficiency rooftop system supplies most of the house load and a building-integrated photo-voltaic (BIPV) system that doubles as a carport roof. Second, we’ve got a solar thermal system for renewable hot water heating. This system uses the principle of heat transfer, in which water heated by the sun rises to the top of the panel and can be pumped into the house passively. This eliminates the need for boilers and electric pumps, reducing the amount of natural gas or electricity consumed in a house.
The battery system uses some lesser known innovations with some seriously efficient and sustainable impacts. Second-life batteries are being used, which are used batteries from electric cars that have degraded and are not economical for transportation uses anymore. These batteries have many environmental benefits compared to brand new batteries since they can extend a battery’s useful life. The Inter House will also have a smart battery charger that stores excess solar power when the sun is shining and our electricity loads are low. This controller will save energy from electrical losses and helps make the electric grid safer and more reliable too.
Inter House uses smart home technology. A sensor and control system will be used to maximize occupant comfort and energy efficiency, and to accurately measure the performance of the house. It will include light sensors, motion sensors, electrical use sensors, and air quality sensors. These will be used to control the lights and blinds in the house, such as turning off lights when the sun is lighting a room, or closing blinds to reduce sunlight if too much heat is coming in through the window in an empty room. The system will also provide an interface where people can see the sensor readings and control all the lights and blinds in the house.
Many Passive House concepts are adopted into this house, relying on solar panels to produce enough energy for the house to function properly and to heat water. The house also integrates systems to collect rainwater, and filtrate grey water in order to water the garden or house purposes. Passive house is a low energy design concept that was developed in Germany in the late 1900’s. Houses designed to this standard typically use about 90% less energy than a house built to code. The way they do this is by creating a space that is insulated and air tight, so the temperature inside can be completely controlled. Typically, using the dryer on a cold day is enough to warm up the whole house.