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Honda Motor : Honda Unveils Demonstration Test House that Features Honda Smart Home System

04/23/2012 | 03:39am US/Eastern
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Corporate April 23, 2012 Honda Unveils Demonstration Test House that Features Honda Smart Home System

-To begin verification of in-house energy management technology that utilizes gas, solar power and electromotive mobility-

TOKYO, Japan, April 23, 2012 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled a house Honda built in the city of Saitama, Japan, for the demonstration testing of the Honda Smart Home System (HSHS). The house features HSHS, which comprehensively controls in-house energy supply and demand, and helps manage both the generation and consumption of energy for the home such as heat and electricity, while utilizing mobility products. HSHS is also designed to enable users to secure their own supply of energy and mobility in a time of disaster.

The HSHS installed in this demonstration test house consists of CIGS thin-film solar cell panels, a home battery unit (rechargeable battery), household gas-engine cogeneration unit and hot-water supply system, and the Smart e Mix Manager. The Smart e Mix Manager, the core of the HSHS, is a comprehensive energy management device which applies optimal control to electricity supplied from the commercial grid and generated by each energy device that composes the system. The Smart e Mix Manager reduces CO2 emissions from the home and, at the same time, provides a backup supply of electricity so that the house can be self-sufficient in the event of a power outage or disaster.

Striving to realize "the joy and freedom of mobility" and "a sustainable society where people can enjoy life," Honda will conduct demonstration testing of the HSHS that is linked with electromotive mobility products such as electric vehicles, and the Internavi system. Through this demonstration testing, Honda will aim to reduce CO2 by 50% (in comparison to year 2000) and verify the future direction of personal mobility. In addition, Honda will verify the backup function for household energy supply, which will provide a sense of security and comfort to the customers.

<Target of verification using energy devices installed to the demonstration test house>
  • As a part of its effort to further reduce CO2 emissions in people's everyday lives including mobility, on May 23, 2011, Honda signed an agreement to participate in the E-KIZUNA Project run by the city of Saitama. To conduct demonstration testing with the HSHS-equipped house as a part of the E-KIZUNA Project, Honda built two houses (each for single-family use) in the vicinity of Saitama University (located in the city of Saitama). A third house is scheduled to be built in the same location, where all three houses will be linked for smart community demonstration testing. These tests are scheduled to continue until 2018.
  • Gas-engine cogeneration unit
    Honda's gas-engine cogeneration system is an energy device which makes a significant contribution to the reduction of CO2 emissions by enabling efficient generation and consumption of heat which accounts for approximately 60% of the energy consumed in a typical Japanese home, primarily for hot water supply, heating and kitchen needs.
    Featuring a unique multi-link type high expansion ratio engine, EXlink (Extended Expansion Linkage Engine), Honda's gas-engine cogeneration system offers the combined efficiency -- the combination of power generation efficiency and heat recovery efficiency -- of 92% and enables the efficient use of electricity and heat using city gas or liquid petroleum gas. In the demonstration testing, Honda will study the automatic activation of the cogeneration unit using a battery and verify its effectiveness in the time of an emergency.
  • CIGS thin-film solar cell panels
    Honda will verify the superiority of power generation efficiency of an all-new CIGS thin-film solar cell module which is currently being developed (CIGS = copper, indium, gallium, selenium).
  • Home battery unit
    While envisioning the reuse of electric motorcycle/automobile batteries, Honda will facilitate the development of a home battery unit and verify the functionality of the unit.
  • Smart e Mix Manager
    The Smart e Mix Manager obtains the operation information of each energy device and coordinates each of the devices that compose the HSHS, while it analyzes total household energy usage.
    Based on this analysis, the Smart e Mix Manager makes comprehensive decisions to realize the optimal efficiency for that particular household. Such information will be displayed on the in-house monitor, and the user can select the mode to minimize the size of their utility bill based on the latest data from the gas and electricity bills or let the Smart e Mix Manager apply control to minimize CO2 emissions based on the current data of the basic unit of CO2 emissions. Further, the Smart e Mix Manager consolidates the operation display monitors of each energy device. The user can remotely operate this information display in the house via wireless LAN, or also operate it from outside of the house via Honda Internavi system using a vehicle navigation system or a smart phone. By pursuing further evolutionary development of the Smart e Mix Manager, Honda will verify optimal energy management.
  • Collaboration with electromotive mobility
    Honda will verify the optimal use of household energy, provided by the Smart e Mix Manager, to charge EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions.
  • Strengthening the backup supply for household energy use
    Honda will develop and verify the means to secure the necessary energy for the household in the event of a power outage or disaster. Such means include the development of a combination of solar cell panels and a gas-engine cogeneration unit or a self-activating gas-engine cogeneration unit. Moreover, with an eye toward reducing the load on public infrastructures, Honda will study and verify a "vehicle-to-home" charging system that uses electric energy within batteries of electromotive mobility products, such as electric vehicles, fuel cell electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid vehicles, to supply electricity for household use.
  • Verifying key information services supplied in coordination with Internavi
    Honda will verify information services which will support people's ability to lead secure and comfortable lives by networking vehicles, homes, society and energy supply.

    1) Sense of Security:

  • Notifies the arrival of visitors
  • Provides guideline on how to use each energy device in the time of an emergency
  • Notifies if air conditioning unit and/or lights are not turned off before the user leaves the home

2) Convenience:

  • Enables remote control of appliances (air conditioning unit/lights)
  • Enables remote control of appliances via the Internavi system's voice recognition function
  • Enables user to run hot water for a bathtub or lock a door from outside of the house

3) Environment (providing information on the in-house monitor):

  • Electricity information (amount of electricity generated by solar power generation system and gas-engine cogeneration unit, amount of charge/discharge of the rechargeable batteries, amount of electricity consumed in the house, amount of electricity consumed on each floor of the house, remaining battery level of the rechargeable battery and EV battery, situation of power outage and recovery
  • Heat information (amount of heat generated by the gas-engine cogeneration unit, temperature of hot water supplied, temperature of bath water, temperature of each room)
  • Bill information (electricity bill, electricity sales, gas bill, water bill)
  • Other information (weather forecast, malfunctioning alert of each device)
  • Remote control (hot water dispenser, air conditioning unit, lights, locking doors from outside of the house)

Based on the verification results from these demonstration test houses, Honda will take advantage of its strength in producing energy creation products such as solar panels and cogeneration units and pursue total energy management within a household or community. Honda's goal is to work together with its customers to create a low carbon lifestyle in which people can enjoy life.

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