Solar Frontier targets Japan’s Zero Energy Housing commitment

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Japanese thin-film company Solar Frontier has been selected by housing company Seiksui Heim to provide CIS solar modules for its new ‘Smart Power Station’ homes.

The homes are aimed at meeting the Japanese government’s target of standardising ‘Zero Energy Housing’ by 2020. Homes built to Zero Energy Housing standards will consume net-zero energy from the grid.

Japanese news outlet Kodo reported that the Smart Power Station homes will feature 10kW of CIS solar panels as well as a 7.2kW lithium-ion battery. The Solar Frontier panels can be fitted horizontally onto flat roofs, potentially giving full coverage of the roof’s surface area on each house. The houses are fitted with energy monitoring systems that regulate the use of energy, so that heating and air conditioning is switched off in empty rooms, for example.

According to Teiji Koge, president of the Sekisui Heim, who spoke at a press conference in Tokyo on 21 October to launch the Smart Power Station, the design of the home represents the realisation of ‘Three Zeros’ in its design and construction. These are: zero heating costs, zero balance of payments on energy and zero instability of energy supply. Koge stated that the company’s vision to spread the Smart Power Station was not limited to Japan but would hopefully be extended to the whole of Asia and eventually launched worldwide.

Sekisui Heim have been offering the ‘Smart Heim’ range of housing which features storage batteries since May 2012 and by December 2012 had built 124,413 houses with solar power, including refurbishments.

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