The Dutch subsidiary of IBC Solar AG, one of the world’s leading system integrators for photovoltaics, has helped bring AUT-ARK home, a floating passive home, a step closer to mass production. A prototype of AUT-ARK is currently anchored in Maastricht (Netherlands) and draws a huge number of interested visitors during its opening hours due to its unconventional construction design.
IBC Solar B.V. provided its support for the planning, technical design and installation of the photovoltaic system for this unique, future-oriented project, which is powered by a total of 24 photovoltaic modules with a total output of 6,360 Wp (watt peak), an inverter and a solar energy storage unit.
The home was designed by Pieter Kromwijk (Architectuur Coenegracht & Kromwijk, Maastricht) focusing on minimum energy demand, and is currently anchored in Maastricht. The prototype took nine months to build, and IBC Solar explains that “owing to the considerable interest shown, the floating passive home will soon be going into mass production. Then each home will only take 4 months to build”.
“The AUT-ARK Home is a perfect example of how the homes of the future will look,” claims Peter Meijers, Managing Director of IBC Solar B.V. in the Netherlands enthusiastically. Once it has been anchored at its mooring, the passive house does not need to be connected to a waterside power supply – electricity and water are produced and treated by the home itself.
“This is of particular interest in those areas where there is an abundance of rivers and lakes and only limited housing space. This problem could be solved with the passive house, which offers a new, self-sufficient living space,” explains Meijers. Thanks to its innovative construction and self-sufficiency concept, the floating passive home is ten times more energy-friendly than a conventional home of a comparable size.
Peter Meijers was immediately convinced of the idea of the self-sufficient home and offered his advice in designing the power supply from the very beginning. The planning stage of the project was quite complicated. For example, the construction plans for the passive home were altered several times. IBC Solar B.V. adapted the energy concept for each draft accordingly. IBC Solar B.V. took on the costs of the entire planning process and design of the photovoltaic system.
After the planning phase was completed, IBC Solar B.V. supplied a total of 24 Yingli Panda YL265 WP photovoltaic modules and a SMC 6000A type inverter for the prototype of the AUT-ARK home. A solar energy storage unit system consisting of 24 batteries stores the generated solar power, thereby guaranteeing an energy supply that will last for a total of four days. The necessary 230 V grid voltage is generated by means of the bi-directional stand-alone inverter Sunny Island 5048. The residents can use the IBC SolGuard Monitoring System in their living room so that they are always able to keep an eye on the current output of the photovoltaic system. In adverse weather conditions, a bio-diesel generator supplies the home with additional power.
The solid EPS exterior makes the 130-ton-heavy floating home more buoyant. The water needed for drinking, washing-up and washing is extracted from the bilge water by osmosis. Waste water is purified in a cellar tank and returned to the surface water in a 90% purified form. The various on-board water tanks increase the stability of the home. Warm water is generated by six heat collectors installed on the roof and heats the entire living space above the integrated floor heating. In the summer months, cold water from the tanks also runs through this system to keep the AUT-ARK home cool.