New villa is sunny side up
Self-sufficient home is a model for future
A self-sufficient home that is independent of the electricity grid has been unveiled in what experts say could be the way forward for living in the future.
Technicians from the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre have been working on the prototype in Al Khawaneej as part of efforts to cut down on the amount of energy used in homes.
The UAE has consistently had one of the highest energy uses per capita, in part due to the prevalence of air conditioning.
In addition to a large bank of solar panels on the roof, which is already being used on homes and commercial businesses, the focus is on ensuring heat and dust do not enter.
Triple-glazed windows reflect sunlight and krypton gas inside enhances the effectiveness of the insulation.
Moisture generated from the AC cooling systems – a significant challenge in a humid climate – is filtered to produce up to 200 litres of water per day. The AC unit also keeps a constant temperature of 22C to 25C at all times.
Dr Ali Shaheen, Director of the Sustainable Energy Programme, said: “Normally houses generate 120,000 to 140,000 kilowatts of energy per day, depending on the position of the sun. But the smart home only generates an average of 30,000 to 40,000 kilowatts of energy per day.
“We are planning to conduct studies on providing the electricity grid with surplus energy storage in order to feed back excess energy into the grid.”
With investments from government and private firms in the real estate sector, Shaheen said the smart homes are expected to be made available in the market within five years.
Huge solar panels generate enough electricity to allow the home to be separate to the grid. Thick insulation also keeps cool air in.
Triple-glazed windows reflect heat and light and contain krypton gas to enhance
The state-of-the-art AC system produces filtered air with little waste
Excess moisture from the cooling system becomes usable water