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A novel home design from Hungary

Post in 'The Green Room' started by begreen, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That is pretty darn cool. I don't think it would bode well in my environment, but it could for many.
  3. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Interesting design.

    Makes you wonder about using PV panels for the siding on the south wall of homes.

    At $1 per peak watt, the panels are about $12 per sqft -- not cheap, but not outrageous as you would save the $3 or so a sqft for regular siding.

    Wish they would have given the details for how the panels go together to make a weather proof wall and what the supporting frames look like. Windows might be a bit of a challenge.

    Found these two papers:
    http://ptp.irb.hr/upload/mape/kuca/28_Tuomo_Ojanen_PV_Panel_Siding_For_Renovation_Of_Walls_Part_.pdf

    http://ptp.irb.hr/upload/mape/kuca/11_Manel_Debora_Faggembauu_PV-Panel_Siding_for_Renovation_of_.pdf

    Solar thermal panels incorporated into the structure of the south wall is another area that it seems to me just does not get enough attention. Seems like it could be very cost effective.

    Gary
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I was wondering about that too, though Budapest gets real winters.
  5. pdf27

    pdf27 Member

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    OK, looking through the site I managed to find a generation graph. Total annual generation is 13,217 kWh. Throwing data for the nearest city I can find at the same latitude (Graz, Austria) suggests they've fitted at least a 15kW solar array (15kW would give that generation at the optimum angle - suggesting they're more like 20kW).

    To take a well-known and (relatively) easily achieved standard for comparison, Passivhauses are limited to 120kWh/m2/year for all forms of energy. Taking the "produces twice the amount of energy it consumes" as accurate, annual consumption is 6,610 kWh. At 120kWh/m2, that gives 55m2 or more internal space to meet the standard. To me, it looks smaller than that - at a guess about 35m2, but I'm struggling to get a good estimate. That sort of fits - they mention 24cm (10") of blown cellulose, which sounds a bit thin to me.

    In other words, it isn't bad but has achieved most of it by fitting a giant PV array. The design is quite nice, and does the world a service by showing that you don't need to live in a cave to have a low-energy house, but it doesn't seem to advance the technology very much.

    [​IMG]
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I don't think the intent was to advance technology. It's a university project to combine current technology as a demonstration home in a compact and energy efficient, affordable and livable form. The modular and prefab design means that it can be installed on a site relatively quickly. I thought that the cooling ceiling was pretty interesting. I hadn't seen that before. The summer kitchen harkens to a familiar theme in Hungarian country homes. I like that idea too.

    The main change I would make for our climate is to have an insulated, season extending roof that covers the center section, with added wing walls for privacy and to contain pocket sliding walls, to close off the elements.

    This house was built to compete in the Solar Decathalon Europe.
    "Solar Decathlon Europe is an international competition among universities which promotes research in the development of efficient houses. The objective of the participating teams is to design and build houses that consume as few natural resources as possible and produce minimum waste products during their life cycle. Particular emphasis is put on reducing energy consumption and on obtaining all the necessary energy from the sun."
  7. pdf27

    pdf27 Member

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    "promotes research" and "Particular emphasis is put on reducing energy consumption" sound to me like they are trying to encouraged advanced building technology, rather than repackaging something that isn't even current best practice.
    The ceiling is, so far as I can work out, just a repackaged swamp cooler (well, probably - their website is awful). And I'm definitely not a fan of the way they've done the PV - they designed the house first, stuffed a load of insulation in and fitted triple glazing, and then covered every available surface with PV panels to make it generate more than it uses. Look at the generation graph - the vertical wall really isn't doing them any significant amount of good in winter. It's eco-bling. Similarly, the roof panels would give them a lot more with any amount of slope. As it is, they're going to have big problems with snow in winter and probably dust/bird lime in the rest of the year since the rain really won't wash them off.

    Compare that to WaterShed ( http://2011.solarteam.org/ ), the winner of the US Solar Decathlon last year - AIUI they alternate between Spain and the US. The whole thing seems much more thought out, and a lot of the technology just seems to be used better. The PV panels are at the right angle, and they have separate thermal panels. They've come up with a clever way of reducing humidity using waste heat - and humidity is often more of a reason to need air conditioning than simply temperature. They've given much more consideration to water and food. The only areas I disagree with the design are where they've tried too hard to make areas multi-purpose (e.g. the bed that converts into a conference table). I suspect this is down to the rules of the competition, but I can't help feeling it drives some unrealistic solutions.

    Of this year's entries (or at least the ones I could find before I got fed up - you'd think they would have a central registry somewhere but if there is I can't find it!), the ones I like come from HTWG Konstanz and the American University of Cairo.
    The HTWG house is similar to the Odoo one, but generally seems better thought out and to make better use of land area - which is likely to be the limiting factor in the target market for these houses. The reason I like the Cairo house is because they've sat back and defined what their problem is far better than the others. For them, it's air conditioning and water use - so rather than just plating the house in solar panels like many of the other teams, they've come up with what looks like rather a good way to provide natural cooling and spent most of the rest of their efforts on water recycling. The general layout of the house also looks much more liveable than many of the others. For me, that's by far the best of the houses I could find (about two thirds of them).

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