The two new houses located across the street from the front gate of Saitama University in Saitama City look like regular houses at first glance, but these buildings are actually demonstration test sites for the Honda Smart Home System (HSHS). The HSHS makes home energy independence a reality by enabling users to generate their own heat, electricity, and other energy at home. And it gives them comprehensive control over home energy supply and demand.
The demonstration test houses, which opened for viewing on April 23, 2012, as part of the E-KIZUNA Project run by Saitama City, are equipped with their own gas-engine cogeneration unit, photovoltaic system, home battery unit, electromotive mobility, charging station for electric mobility, and other devices that are connected to a Smart e Mix Manager (SeMM) for optimal control of energy supply and demand and minimal household CO₂ emissions.
“Honda is not just about automobiles. A comfortable, sustainable lifestyle is our ideal, and mobility is part of that. The HSHS project emerged from that sort of thinking,” said Shigeru Yamaji, Chief Engineer of Power Products R&D Center, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. and developer of the HSHS project, who provided a backdrop for the HSHS project.
“If the goal was only to reduce CO₂ emissions, then we could just put up with a lifestyle that doesn’t use energy. But the CO₂ emissions reduction goal for the HSHS includes the words ‘while improving the quality of life.’ We are working to reduce environmental impacts while achieving a more convenient and comfortable lifestyle. That is the HSHS concept.”
Looking back on the launch of the HSHS project, Yamaji continues: “After the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Obama Administration announced its Green New Deal policy, and solar, wind, and other new energies were attracting attention. With the movement toward electrification of vehicles,Honda also began EV (electricvehicle) development and I was part of the team. At that time, Honda was conducting a lot of research, not just on EVs, but also on the third generation of its own gas-engine cogeneration units, on the potential of the solar panels developed by Honda’s subsidiary, Honda Soltec Co., Ltd. and on expanding the functions of the Honda proprietary Internavi service. Then in 2010, we began full-scale research to integrate all of this from the perspective of optimizing energy use at home and in vehicles. We set a goal to cut CO₂ emissions from life (L) and mobility (M) by 50%, including motorcycles, automobiles, and power products, as well as products developed by the (then) headquarters Internavi Telematics Division and Honda Soltec. That was when the team for the L&M 50 Project was launched.”
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