Eco City

The future of home-produced eletricity

 5-MINUTE READ

Can you imagine buying/selling the renewable electricity from/to your neighbour instead of using the nearby nuclear power plant and national grid? If you google the home-produced electricity, the search engine will you dozens of offers and DIY projects advising you to implement the solar panels on your roof, yard and even terrace. And that's the trend of the future: each of us will produce the energy independently.

No location
boundaries

The splashes of home electricity production occur all over the world. Some household have to do it cause the government is short of the energy production, some to lower their expenses, and others implement the renewables due to the high innovative gadget interest.

One of the surprising examples is the private home solar plant in Finland. Finland? The darkest land in winter with short sun day length? Indeed, Markku Åberg's solar setup on the roof and yard generates 40kWh excess energy including the house and office consumption in summer. He installed sixty-four square metres solar array. "This can produce enough electricity for this property, including air-conditioning, as well as for our office in Järvenpää", says Markku in his interview for yle.fi. In sunny weather Markku sells extra energy to the local power company transferring it to the national grid. He admits that it is not much of the business as the price per kilowatt-hour is six cents. However, no electricity bills for half a year is a pretty good incentive. Moreover, this is an example of how each of us can make the world more sustainable. The future of the environment lays in the hands of our daily decisions.

The power
from water

One might think that home generated energy makes sense only in Europe or States. Nevertheless, the development happens all over the globe. Young innovators in Philipines constructed the renewable light using the salty water reaction to metal. The reaction makes atom move fast producing the power enough to illuminate the light bulb. The innovation does not need much of maintenance. Change the water and the piece of metal once in six months, and you get the zero-carbon lights outdoor or inside the house. The Philipines islands citizens often have the lack of access to the electricity caused by the location.When the sun goes down, people use the dangerous kerosene lamps. These lamps are proven to be harmful to human health, and, what is more, are one of the causes of the fires in the areas. Therefore, the SALt lamp is an excellent solution for the unlucky area as in Philipines. Running only on the glass of water and tho teaspoons of salt, the lamp provides with light for 8 hours. Moreover, the SALt has a USB-port to charge the smartphone, for example. Of course, it is not the great energy source, but the outcomes are tremendous. It is just a small piece in sustainable home electricity generation.

When speaking about innovations, the country that comes to mind first is China. And, of course, we find the sustainable energy generation solution from there as well. The Liquid Motor, an invention byNakano Seisakusho, generates electricity of running the water at home. The engine is simply installed to the faucets and harvest electricity every time the water is running. Even though the efficiency is questionable, as filling the bathtub will power the led light for ten minutes, the potential is large. "The way things work now," says Mr. Nakano in interview, "water is being pumped into the pipelines and creating water pressure, but the second a person turns on the faucet, all of that pressure in the pipes is released and completely lost to us. The Liquid Motor gives that water pressure a second purpose, by harnessing its power as electricity and ensuring that none of that potential energy goes to waste." He also hopes that this technology will be adopted by the public and companies bathrooms. The Liquid motor can power small objects like motion sensors and automated details in the bathroom generating the energy from water used by washing hands and flushing the toilets.

Lately, scientist are quite obsessed the finding environmentally friendly, green, and efficient ways to generate electricity. Not only for the household, but also to harvest energy from our daily activity. Some looking for ways to get electricity from out steps, and some try to harvest the energy from the heat in the subway. Nevertheless, all these methods are aimed at obtaining energy from everywhere. As the result, we come to undersanding that we live in the field of electrical creation, and the last question is how to store the energy.

Storage
of the energy

It is worth to mention, that if such home power plants are made in the north, the opportunities for the sunny lands are excellent. The Spain already uses up to 50% renewable energy out of the total. Moreover, if the economic value of the solar panels has been rather high, and the return on investment was low, the innovations will change the situation in the nearest time. For instance, the Power Wall from Tesla. Here is the Bloomberg Business review of Tesla's battery for home:

Zeb Pilot House
By Snøhetta

And who is doing a better job than Scandinavia creating the zero emission eco houses? The Norway's Research Centre on Zero Emission Building working together with architecture firm Snøhetta designed the house that produces three times more energy than it needs. Moreover, it is modern, well looking two story building with swimming pool and sauna. The roof angled at exact 19 degrees is covered with 150 square meters of solar panels. At the same time, this slant of the roof allows to harvest the rain water for the toilet and garden usage. Each floor has an own radiator to heat the whole house in the cold northern winters.

Illustration - Snøhetta/EVEIllustration - Snøhetta/EVE

The swimming pool is kept warm using the surplus heat from the house while the sauna is heated using the wood. Overall the building can generate 19,200 kWh from the solar panels yearly spending 4,000 kWh to heat the water. Nevertheless, the building itself consumes only 7,272 kWh per year. Also, all building materials have as little impact on the house's carbon emissions as possible.

Yes, welcome to the eco-house of the future. Totally self-reliant, totally efficient. 

Insight Box

The day after day world gets new inventions offering the harvest the energy, sometimes from very unexpected sources. It is the decades when we will figure out the best way to become self-sufficient. The houses built in the future will produce energy for itself and even the neighbourhood, quickly rising from the ground using the 3D printers. The new market is opening and getting even bigger - but who will own the niche?

#FutureOfCity #urbanization #homeproducedenergy #zerocarbon #ecocity #futuretrends

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About the category

In 2007 global urban population exceeded global rural. This means that over half of the world's population lives in urban areas and is responsible for over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. With the growth of population most of the world is going to be build or rebuild in nearest two decades, so how do we to make it right? Design the Eco City, which will meet all the needs while being environmentally friendly.

Punda faces the challenge and searches for the ways to build new sustainable environment touching all aspects of economical and social development as well as environmental protection.

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