May 23rd, 2019 by Kyle Field in Clean Technica, New sonnenCommunity Pairs Passive House Design With Intelligent Energy Storage
sonnen has partnered with Chicago area developer Evolutionary Home Builders to design and build a new community comprised of some of the most sustainable passive homes in the United States. Collectively, the new sonnenCommunity will be net energy positive, setting an impressively responsible high bar for other home builders and new energy technology companies.
The two companies partnered with passive house expert Brandon Weiss to ensure the new homes were not just sustainable, but also truly maximized the latent passive energy potential — before even starting to worry about energy consumption. Designing homes to be passive, energy independent, resilient, smart, and sustainable raises the bar for the environment while also putting the homebuyer first with a full complement of cleantech solutions.
“With the adoption of renewable energy gaining traction, and exponentially growing, it’s even more important to include intelligent energy storage in passive home design to eliminate negative impacts on the grid infrastructure and reduce the carbon emissions associated with utilizing peak power plants,” said Brandon Weiss. “By partnering with sonnen, Evolutionary Home Builders is ensuring its customers and new Wildwood homeowners can rely upon the most innovative smart home, renewable technology solution and approach – one that represents the home of the future, and the concept of ‘clean energy for all.’”
The new “Wildwood of Marengo” community is the third sonnenCommunity in the United States and will pair the intelligently designed passive houses with a one of the most advanced residential energy storage solutions, the sonnen ecoLinx. The ecoLinx’s energy storage capability is fully integrated into the homes, thanks to the system’s ability to manage loads in the home with connected circuit breaker integration and home automation system tie-ins.
Each of the 28 homes in the development will have its own 6 kilowatt solar array that will operate symbiotically with a dedicated 20 kilowatt-hour sonnen ecoLinx energy automation system. Storing and optimizing power generation and consumption locally all but eliminates transmission losses that are associated with most utility-operated centrally generated electricity.
“This groundbreaking community development is taking root in the Chicago area where the homes must flourish on the merits of their design and affordability,” said Adam Weinstein, Senior Sales Manager at sonnen, Inc. “Driving this tipping point for the next stage of passive home building is a key reason we are so appreciative of our relationship with Brandon Weiss.”
The rooftop solar panels generate the power needed by the home and the sonnen ecoLinx unit stores up any excess power and intelligently doles it out as needed. It also affords the homes the ability to operate independently from the grid during times when its power is expensive. In addition to reducing the strain on the grid, this behavior also minimizes the amount of carbon-intensive peaker power that needs to be generated, thereby reducing grid emissions even further.