Man has always needed energy for various needs. However, as civilization grew, energy consumption only increased. Initially, non-renewable sources such as coal, gas, oil and other fossil fuels were used to fulfill energy needs. Though, with the immense rise in population, these resources started depleting rapidly.
Observing the hike in the energy crisis, experts came up with the idea of using renewable resources such as sunlight and wind for energy production. Every day some new gadget pops up claiming to consume less energy than its previous version.
A similar approach is followed for home designs, and these are called Smart Homes. Although they are not common yet, considering the experts’ dedication, they will soon be a common phenomenon.
How Future Smart Homes Produce and Reserve Energy?
Shortly, there will be energy independence for almost all home complexes and colonies. It means renewable energy (generated from sun and wind) will dominate other energy sources (like fossil fuels) we utilize today.
Working of Intelligent Energy Management System
Aside from coal and oil, scientists also aim to replace natural gas with renewable energy because it doesn’t emit carbon dioxide while producing power.
Future intelligent homes also resolve energy storage worries. They use energy storage systems to save abundant energy. Hence, they’re proving helpful when renewable energy sources are absent.
Moreover, a controlling system, through IoT, manages energy storage, production, and utilization. For instance, on a sunny day, the system will prioritize saving solar energy as it is present in abundance. Simultaneously, realizing that the batteries need charging, the system recharges them.
The energy production system of future smart houses will also provide geothermal energy solutions. It means when the batteries are full and solar panels receive enough energy for daily consumption, the system takes the excessive power to the ground for geothermal storage.
It transfers the energy into the ground and saves it for later use. The stored geothermal energy will later be used to warm cold water for household consumption when solar energy is unavailable.
There is no guaranteed availability of renewable resources. In such scenarios, the system is intelligent enough to use other energy sources like natural gas, coal or gasoline, etc., to produce the needed energy.
Forecast Analysis and Energy Sustainability
Weather forecast is another feature the smart homes incorporate. Predicting the next day’s weather helps the system analyze which energy production mode to use. For instance, if the system sees the next day is sunny, it will not put much effort into recharging the batteries but instead wait for the next day.
The striking point of a smart home system is that it provides constant energy regardless of the circumstances. If renewable sources like wind and sun are available, it uses them for energy generation. Else it switches to natural gas (or other resources) to generate power.
The ability to select a suitable energy source works wonders in coastal areas. The phenomenon of wind currents is common in coastal areas. The wind predominantly blows at night, midnight, or early morning. Solar energy is almost negligible during windy hours.
Similarly, the wind is minimal during sun hours. The smart system is intelligent enough to pick the dominant resource for energy consumption.
In tropical and warm areas, the hottest day hours are from 11 am to 4 pm when the sun is in its extreme energy production. Hence, there is plenty of energy to charge batteries, operate the cooling system, and fulfill other energy needs.
In such lands, smart homes store sufficient energy to fulfill energy requirements during the night. In contrast, there is a little sun in cold areas away from the tropical zone. We cannot use solar energy for warming systems as the sun will probably not be available on cold days.
Challenges to Future Smart Homes
Batteries are the most expensive element in these systems. Although batteries will help the system store energy and work efficiently when no energy source is available. Still, there are several downsides.
Firstly, deploying huge batteries is not affordable. It isn’t easy on both the manufacturing and consuming end. Secondly, one smart home requires extended storage capacity. In addition to the setup cost, the maintenance costs will be enormous.
Also, the mass production of batteries will require more industrial efforts. However, they may prove insufficient if optimal energy consumption is not practiced.
How To Reduce Energy Consumption in Everyday Energy Needs?
Using renewable energy sources is ineffective if we do not devise energy-saving methods and reduce energy consumption. Utilizing more renewable resources requires more equipment and, ultimately, more storage capacity.
We should try harder to design better thermal isolations and more energy-saving ventilation systems for the new homes.
Efficient window glasses should be used to remove UV rays during the day in the summertime to prevent temperature rise inside the house. In comparison, they should also be capable of intaking natural thermal energy to warm the home in winter.
Light is necessary for everyone; therefore, significant efforts should be made to manufacture energy-efficient lights. Homes should use low voltage lights to reduce energy consumption instead of 110V lights.
How Will Future Smart Homes Revolutionize Lifestyle?
The modern lifestyle is incomplete without power. The prevalence of increased power operating gadgets requires a constant power supply and, ultimately, an efficient power management system.
You need electricity to operate even the smallest device. Your phone needs electricity for recharge; similarly, you need electricity to keep your coffee hot.
However, maintaining lifestyle quality with an energy crisis on the hike is challenging. Here, smart homes resolve the issue. They provide energy regardless of external conditions and are more efficient and convenient. But there is still much to be done to make them accessible.
Smart homes are an incredible technology. They can create energy using various renewable or non-renewable resources available. The above article provides a quick insight into the future of smart homes and how they can help deal with the prevailing energy crisis.
Although the thought of self-sufficient houses is attractive, certain obstacles stand in its practical implementation. Providing such a large battery backup is extremely expensive. Therefore, more thought should be spared towards using energy-efficient household devices, so transitioning into self-sufficient future homes becomes easier.
Author: Negar Mehramiz, Marketing Vice President @ Arshon technology