Can you power your car with power from your house? If you have an electric vehicle you can probably plug it in to recharge. But can you recharge your car with power that is generated by your house? In Berlin this will be a trial, sponsored by BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Audi. A family of four will live in an energy producing home which produces enough to also power their sponsored electric vehicle.
An artist impression from the house In Berlin - Link
Power is on the house!
Energy producing structures are not that uncommon, not taking the traditional power plants into consideration. Here in the Netherlands a lot of the farmers using greenhouses to grow tomatoes here are more and more becoming nett producers of energy. A similar case is found with waste water treatment facilities, which clean and purify the water and use the waste/biomass they extract from it as an alternative source of fuel. Not only can the entire facility be operated on the energy that is generated, it also becomes a nett producer.
A recent article on CleanTechnica featured a coffee plant that is also able to produce power as a result of the normal production process. The waste of the plant is used in a gasification unit, creating synthetic gas, or syngas. The syngas in turn is used in an internal combustion engine, or perhaps a fuel cell, to generate electricity.
Running your car on (coffee)beans? - Link
The more common structures would utilize large arrays of solar panels and feature excellent isolation. Some large offices and schools have gone through the process of reducing their energy consumption; minimizing the energy losses and added a method to generate their own power. The result is an energy neutral building, it produces as much as it requires. The pilot in Berlin however adds the electric vehicle in the mix, thereby increasing the power that needs to be generated.
Power to the people (from the people)
An excellent example of what I think the future will have for us, electric vehicles and your own energy production method. Not only to power your house, but also your transportation and everything else. By the time when everybody can provide their own electricity, or when a collective of households in an apartment building has become self sustaining, electricity will be dirt cheap, an interesting thing to look forward to.
Do you have some great examples of this happening in your area, or just want to talk on Electric Vehicles? Feel free to drop a line in the comments or contact me through Linked In or Twitter - @my_hev.