The AIR House energy concept is simple&ecological. The layout combines a minimum interior living area with a generous outside area. The goal is to place a maximum of functional units outside the air-conditioned area and thus minimize the energy needed to maintain interior comfort. The AIR HOUSE is designed as a zero‐energy house. It obtains all the energy needed for the household, and for the maintenance of the optimal interior climate, from solar radiation. Low material, water and energy consumption is also important to us.
50 m2 of PV panels generate all the energy needed for operating the house. AIR House is equipped with 33 monocrystaline PV panels 350x210x8mm 185 Wp. During the contest week in US, electrical energy will transfer to the Solar Village micro grid. For the use in Czech Republic, the house features a standalone PV unit for ensuring the operation of common appliances with lower power consumption and testing and monitoring the energy self-sufficient concept of the AIR House.
In the Czech Republic climate, the house will be ventilated naturally most of the year. During winter and for the competition purposes, we will use recuperation of waste heat. Heat recuperation ventilation system ensures optimal air exchange and during ventilation minimizes heat loss, which represents up to 40% of the entire loss of the building in standard family houses. In the AIR House, the interior air quality is provided by a Duplex RB4 EC ATREA hot-air ventilation unit. The hot-air ventilation unit is connected to an outer loop control and intelligent house control with data collection.
Solar Thermal System
The domestic hot water in AIR House will be provided by two flat-plate solar thermal collectors by Regulus, a purely Czech-owned company. Solar system operate on the principle of transforming solar energy into heat. The system is able to utilize as much as 80% solar energy. The heat trapped inside the collector is transferred by special antifreeze solar fluid into an itegrated heat storage tank IZT ATREA (Atrea). In the central Europe climate conditions, the solar system covers 50-60% of the domestic hot water needs throughout the whole year, 100% in summer and 10% during winter months. In periods of low solar insulation, the solar hot water system will be supplemented by an air-to-water heat pump.. Our solar thermal system is designed to cover all domestic hot water needs during the Solar Decathlon dispaly.
Considerate water handling is another priority of the AIR HOUSE concept. In house, drinking water can quickly turn to waste, but there are many ways it can be reused in the garden. A grey water system collects water from the showers, wash basins and washing up, filtering it and re‐using it to irrigate plants and thus reduces water consumption by 20%.
The AIR HOUSE bathroom is fitted with a low flush toilet. We use Axor Starck Organic bathroom mixers and shower (Hansgrohe), which are economic in terms of consumption; their water consumption is 60% lower than of standard mixers. The extremely efficient shower spray is made up of 90 jets and is highly functional, bathing the entire skin. Technological solution of the mixers prevents water from coming into direct contact with the mixer body. This keeps drinking water free from lead and nickel contamination.