As part of its building and electric mobility research, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development has launched the successor to the Plus Energy House.
The idea is that the energy generated by the house is stored in suitable high-capacity batteries and used to recharge electric vehicles.
Since 7 December 2011, the first fully functioning and inhabitable "surplus energy house" has been open to visitors.
The research project was constructed as a single-family house with around 130 square metres. It serves as a "showcase" for collaborative innovative developments in building and automotive technologies. The house in Fasanenstrasse 87, 10623 Berlin, will be used, scientifically tested and publicly displayed in a real-world setting for two years. The surplus electricity generated by the house can be fed into the grid or used for electric mobility (car, motorcycle, bicycle). Several German car manufacturers are participating in this project and will make their vehicles available.
The project will be closely monitored. Following a test phase, a family of four is to live in the building for one year, starting in 2012. The results are to be available for the large-scale, economically viable construction of such buildings and for the advancement of technical systems.
Federal Minister Dr Peter Ramsauer said:
"Buildings and transport together account for almost 70% of overall final energy consumption. There is an enormous potential for saving energy. In order to meet our climate change targets, we want to make optimum use of all options available. We see building and transport as a unit. It is important to take the charging infrastructure into account, in particular when constructing new buildings. With our Energy Plus House we will go even further. With the help of an inhabitable prototype, we want to demonstrate that a family can also use the energy generated by the house for their mobility. Our Energy Plus House generates twice as much energy as it consumes. This is enough to also charge an electric vehicle in front of the door. This is why we will build a show home in Berlin. Such innovative ideas can and are to make Germany a lead provider of and a lead market for electric mobility."
With regard to suitability for everyday use, Ramsauer said:
"We want promising innovative ideas, technologies and materials to be used at an earlier point in time. For this to happen, we need viable products that are fit for everyday use and inspire users. And we want to examine new ideas thoroughly within the framework of pilot projects so that in the end the product is also socially and economically successful. It makes little sense to fund projects and do research without considering what the market requires."
The house has more advantages than just a positive energy balance:
- all materials can be recycled and the house can easily be dismantled;
- there is flexibility as regards demographic change, accessibility and various support systems;
- operation is supported by mostly automatic functions, with user intervention possible at any time;
- upkeep and operation plus repair and maintenance are easy;
- it has a modern design and at the same has maximum flexibility as regards convertibility.