Businesses and academy come together to revolutionize the building sector
A fruit of long-term cooperation between Dutch student company from Technical University of Eindhoven, Team Casa, and other partners such as housing corporation Woonbedrijf, construction company Hurks, power management company Eaton, Dutch DC innovator DC Systems and many others (including Ubik Solutions) resulted in a novel sustainable approach that surely is going to give a new breath to the traditional building sector.
As its name indicates „CASA“ - Comfortable, Affordable, Sustainable, Alternative, the company decided to challenge the current building sector by introducing their innovative concept of affordable and sustainable houses. It's worth mentioning that the construction process excludes any concrete usage that usually contributes for significant CO2 emissions. First house was built in the brand new Brainport smart district in Helmond, the Netherlands that with the latest insights and technologies will become the smartest district in the world.
As we know, in order to achieve 2050 climate neutrality objective, the European Union must accelerate greenhouse gas emission reduction in this decade. The fact is that Europe’s buildings account for 40% of EU energy consumption and contribute to 36% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Thus the building sector can be a main pillar of this effort and could significantly contribute to 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target.
Considering these numbers, Team Casa used a mix of new and existing technologies to guarantee the sustainability in the field of energy consumption, as well as in the choice of building materials and the construction process itself. The main goals of that project were:
· Reach a sustainable building process (for example no used of any concrete)
· Integrate energy production and storage on site during exploitation
· Increase user centered living experience
· Enable surrounding community
As the following image presents, the novel building approach addresses many sustainable aspects, such as: smart energy monitoring; integrated solar panel roof; rainwater collection; demand driven ventilation etc. The project brought together the right partners from the academic and business world to integrate and innovate all these novelties in the construction sector. Among these innovations we highlight „combined AC/DC hybrid grid“ that allows to forward DC-native energy generated by PV panels directly to the DC-native appliances, thus reducing energy losses due to the exclusion of DC/AC/DC inverters.
The implementation of „Combined AC/DC grid“ was secured by Eaton and DC Systems whereas Ubik Solutions contributed as a technology provider – we delivered it´s first in kind shade tolerant DC PV microconverter OptiVerter to support the household PV generation and avoid rough shading conditions can happen on the roof as it is well known the fact that even 10% of shading of PV panel can reduce the power output by half.
We would like to remind that currently the practical application of our OptiVerter technology is not limited just by Brainport smart district project. We also participate in other innovative first in kind DC projects in the Netherlands and Estonia and very soon we are going to tell you about them. So, be attentive to our news!
This project surged us as a good base for the implementation of our own DC demo house located close to our office in Tallinn, in the Port of Power innovation hub, that aims to test our DC grid with DC-native generation and loads. This project will permit us to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed system and will move us closer to our goal: achieve full Energy Transition via global switching from insufficient AC grids to sustainable DC grids.