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Saturday, April 13, 2024

UC Davis partners with Honda to build smart home in West Village

On March 25, Honda and UC Davis opened the Honda Smart Home US, which demonstrates “green living” with technologies that provide zero-net energy living and transportation.

The smart home in the West Village complex is able to produce more renewable source energy than it uses. That means it has enough energy to fuel a Honda Fit EV for the average commute.

West Village itself is on its way to reaching its goal of operating as a zero net energy community. As of the report issued in November 2013, it produced 87 percent of the energy consumed in a one-year period.

This started as a sustainable living project nearly a year ago in April 2013. It was meant to go beyond the family’s personal mobility and address the two most significant sources of carbon dioxide emissions: cars and homes.

Currently, the amount of energy used to power homes is dramatically high, and fully powering homes and light duty vehicles account for approximately 45 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions across the nation.

Technology that enables distributed renewable energy generation to supply power to homes and cars is one of the key potential pathways to address climate change.

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

In a typical home, the toilet alone can use 27 percent of household water consumption. However, the Honda Smart Home is three times more water-efficient than a typical U.S. household.

“Dual-flush toilets with WaterSense certification, along with low-flow faucets in the sinks and showers and a high-efficiency washing machine and dishwasher all contribute to water savings,” said Matt Sloustcher, the supervisor for Corporate Affairs and Communication at the American Honda Company.

Moreover, for each year — in comparison to the typical home’s consumption of 13.3 megawatts — the smart house is predicted to produce a 2.6 megawatt-hour surplus. Honda is anticipated to go above and beyond the standards of California’s energy plan by 2020.

“Honda Smart Home is being developed as a ‘living laboratory’ to test ideas and innovations for zero net energy living and transportation, so its contribution is more in carrying out research and developing technology for future use in housing developments than in directly contributing to West Village’s energy balance — obviously West Village is much larger,” said Andy Fell, a representative of UC Davis Strategic Communications.

Fell said he hopes that it will generate technology that will be used in housing in California and throughout the U.S.

West Village is also home to many other research centers. The community contains the Energy and Transportation Hub, which has the purpose of fostering collaboration among research groups and transferring green technology from the University to the marketplace.

UC Davis researchers are currently carrying out research and development on lighting and HVAC systems at the home.

Honda is not disclosing the exact project costs. But given the home’s innovative and experimental technologies, it costs more than the typical home in Davis.

“We’re conducting research on these experimental technologies, including the Home Energy Management System, thermal heat pumps and boreholes and stationary energy storage, to determine their cost effectiveness and study ways to drive down costs over time,” said Marcos Frommer, corporate manager of the American Honda Company. “No UC Davis or taxpayer money was used to build the home. Honda is financing 100 percent of the construction.”

The project will run for at least three years and may extend up to 10 years. Once the project is completed, UC Davis will take possession of the home and may use it as housing or continue research there.

“With Honda Smart Home US we will showcase our vision for a lifestyle that produces zero CO2 and that could even save consumers money,” said Steve Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

ROHIT TIGGA can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

2 COMMENTS

  1. […] UC Davis partners with Honda to build smart home in West VillageThe Aggie, on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 14:31:44 -0700On March 25, Honda and UC Davis opened the Honda Smart Home US, which demonstrates “green living” with technologies that provide zero-net energy living and transportation. The smart home in the West Village complex is able to produce more … […]

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