Energy efficient house can be controlled via smartphone

Interesting Engineering

NOEM, a green building company from Spain have just completed a prefabricated energy efficient house with the name of the Smart Shelter aka El Refugio Inteligente. The house was designed and built in 9 weeks and then assembled on the site in just 10 days. The house is solar powered and comes with a combination of amenities that can be configured through a smartphone, while the sustainable design helps in reducing the amount of energy used.

[Image Source: NOEM]

The Smart Shelter is situated in the Serra Espada mountain range close to Valencia. The interior is 96 sq m of floor space over one storey and was built with two prefabricated wooden modules which were then joined together. The home is insulated by way of 16cm thick wood fibre insulation panels.

ecological_house_3-45[Image Source: NOEM]

The energy efficient house has been designed with a clean and simple interior décor and offers a living room, a kitchen that has a porch off it, double bedroom, study and bathroom. The study can also be transformed into a second bedroom if needed. There is also a garden complete with swimming pool.


[Image Source: NOEM]

NOEM built the Smart Shelter with the green building body Passivhaus in mind; however, it hasn't been certified by the Passivhaus Institute. The annual energy consumption has a rating of 15.05 kWh/sq m and this does happen to fall within the stringent requirements of Passivhaus.

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[Image Source: NOEM]

On the roof of the house is a solar array of 4,500 kWh and this provides the electricity for the whole of the house. In fact, the solar array generates more than enough electricity in good conditions and could operate without the need for a grid-based connection. But, in order to ensure there is enough energy for cloudy days a battery array would be needed.

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The downside to this is that the capital costs of the building would be significantly increased. This is the main reason that the house is connected to the grid and it also allows the return of any electricity that is surplus to needs. The house uses the energy efficiently as tasks that are known to hog energy, such as tumble drying, are scheduled for when the sun is at its peak; at noon.

[Image Source: NOEM]

The Smart Shelter energy efficient house is able to harvest rainwater and is connected to two 1000 litre water tanks which are then used for irrigating the garden and to flush the toilet.

A lot of the appliances can be configured and monitored via an app that can be used on iOS or Android smartphones. The app is able to set automatic timers to lower and raise the blinds and this helps to regulate the temperature in the house. The GPS data on the smartphone is monitored and the heating is automatically turned on just 20 minutes before the owners of the house are due to get home on cold days.

ecological_house_3-32[Image Source: NOEM]

The air conditioning, ventilation and heating are also connected to the internet and the settings for these can be adjusted automatically based on online local weather reports. All three can also be adjusted remotely through the internet, while energy consumption, production, interior temperature and water consumption can all be accessed through the phone in real time via WiFi or 3G.




[Image Sources: NOEM]

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