Smart Homes

Is Wireless the Answer to EV Charging?

May 9, 2013
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Is Wireless the Answer to EV Charging?

Massachusetts-based startup WiTricity believes it has the answer to electric vehicle (EV) charging. But first, WiTricity vice president of sales and business development David Schatz has a torso to show me. It’s the first time WiTrcity has shown its torso, which is really a gel mold that resembles human flesh. Inside it are lights...

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Energy Monitoring Saves on Bills in this Naturally Green Home

April 17, 2013
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Energy Monitoring Saves on Bills in this Naturally Green Home

Not every green home requires a bounty of solar panels or other systems to produce clean energy. Conserving energy is the cleanest energy of all. That’s what this 2,500-square-foot vacation home in northern Vermont accomplishes with some serious energy monitoring—while celebrating its habitat by bringing nature indoors. Green construction materials and the addition of...

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‘Greenest Home in America’ Relies on Efficiency Technologies

January 8, 2013
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‘Greenest Home in America’ Relies on Efficiency Technologies

Energy conservation was a key driver in building Tah.Mah.Lah, which may be the greenest house in America. Everything from a solar system to geothermal to water conservation has energy savings in mind. And all these sustainable building systems get a huge boost from some very cool home technologies.

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Off-the-Grid Home Stores Energy and Automates Load Shedding

December 3, 2012
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Off-the-Grid Home Stores Energy and Automates Load Shedding

We hear it all the time: “I’d like to go off the grid.” “Produce all my own power—and store it.” These declarations come from a wide swath of people. They come from those looking at modest solar photovoltaic (PV) investments to power their homes with grid-tied systems and realizing that when utility power goes...

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Rockin’ Without a Carbon Footprint

November 20, 2012
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Rockin’ Without a Carbon Footprint

Step into this Dallas-area house, and you are stepping into the near future—one in which serves up plenty of today’s coolest digital home entertainments along with a heaping, healthy dose of eco-friendliness, without any compromise. A 10.56-kilowatt rooftop solar array helps power 14 zones of high-quality audio, three surround-sound systems and a home theater...

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Self-Powering an Island with Solar and Solar Storage

October 29, 2012
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Self-Powering an Island with Solar and Solar Storage

It doesn’t look like much. In fact, you could say Columbia Island is a concrete slab of an eyesore in the Long Island Sound off the coast of New Rochelle, N.Y. But soon it will be a 6,000-square-foot residence that’s off the grid and self-powered by solar and a solar storage system. The island...

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Heating, Hot Water with Solar PV

October 22, 2012
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Heating, Hot Water with Solar PV

Can you get all of a home’s electricity, heating and hot water from a solar photovoltaic (PV) electric system? That’s what Dave and Suzy Enos of Bedford, Mass., are doing with their home and a 1,300-square-foot addition. The panels for a 10-kilowatt Sanyo solar electric array line the roof over the Enoses’ new three-car...

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Futuristic House Goes Futuristic Green

October 3, 2012
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Futuristic House Goes Futuristic Green

It’s cool to control your A/V, lighting and security systems from a TV screen. But have you ever seen high-efficiency boilers and electrically heated windows monitored like that? Larry Winkler, owner of the famous Sculptured House, featured in a recent slide show on ElectronicHouse.com, can do just that in his Star Trek-inspired command center/utility...

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Smart Solar, Grid Storage and Smart House Tested in Los Alamos

September 24, 2012
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Smart Solar, Grid Storage and Smart House Tested in Los Alamos

Los Alamos, N.M. may be the place in history where the atomic bomb was developed, but the desert locale is now the site of another experiment of the future—how renewable energy, a smart grid and smart home technologies can work together. The two-year Los Alamos Smart Grid project, which just got underway, consists of...

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Efficient Homes of the Near Future

October 6, 2011
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Efficient Homes of the Near Future

Great news from the recently completed Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C.: Energy efficiency in homes isn’t just about solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal technologies. In-home energy management and energy efficiency is important to monitor, regulate and control energy use within a home. The competition, which pitted 19 college teams in a competition to...

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