The Future Starts in Groningen!

March 8, 2010 | 17:10
The Future Starts in Groningen!
The Future Starts in Groningen!
This Wednesday an interesting experiment for sustainable living will kick off in Groningen (a city in the north of Holland). In this experiment 12 domestic homes will be supplying their own power and will be fitted with so-called 'full scale smart grids'. The experiment is the first of its kind in Europe, will span 3 years and is largely funded by the EU.

The homes generate their own electricity, store it, and even feed (sell) excess power back to the grid. The power is generated by means of cogeneration: special furnaces burn gas, generating both power and heat in an efficient way. The heat and power can also be stored for later use, minimizing the waste of energy. Next to the power these houses generate themselves, they are connected to a nearby windmill park, and come equipped with solar panels for additional green power.

But an eco-house of the future is not really credible without some high tech, right? That's where the full scale smart grid jumps in! The houses come with smart appliances, with for example the washing machine and dishwasher being hooked up to the internet. They are programmed to start not when you press the green button, but when the supply of power is largest, and thus the price low. Beneficial for both the wallet and the earth, as it minimizes the possibility of wasting unneeded generated power.
We'll keep you updated (for the next three years) on how this experiment progresses ;).
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