The winds of change are blowing through housing markets all over the world to address climate change and energy consumption issues. Zero-Energy Housing, which minimizes carbon emission and provides comfort in residential space at the same time, is enjoying a meteoric rise. A Zero-Energy House refers to a building with zero carbon emissions when consuming energy.
Zero-Energy Houses are broadly classified as ‘Passive Houses’ and ‘Active Houses’. A passive house is housing that reduces energy loss by utilizing insulation and the structure of the building. It is called ‘Passive House’ as it does not use a mechanical heating/cooling system but maintains as much existing energy as possible. It is easy to understand if you think about the principle of a Thermos bottle. The reason cold ice water and hot coffee can maintain their initial temperatures for a long time is because of the bottle’s excellent insulation. The passive building itself maintains a pleasant indoor temperature without the artificial supply of energy generated through a heating system. It gets a lot of sunlight, since it is normally built facing south and with state-of-the-art insulation methods, energy efficient triple-pane windows, and airtightness, which blocks air leakage(properties where vapor, such as air or gas, cannot pass through. The higher the airtightness, the higher the heating efficiency), are applied to the building.
An Active House is a residential building that independently produces energy required for daily life, utilizing new & renewable energy sources such as sunlight, water heat, geothermal heat, wind power, etc. A residence that actively utilizes solar heat is also called an ‘Active Solar House’. It has reflectors or solar cells installed on the roof, collects and changes solar heat into warm water and stores it in a thermal storage tank for heating or hot-water supply; even cooling is possible using a heat pump, a heating/cooling device, which heats a low-temperature heat source using heat or condensation heat of a refrigerant or cools down a high-temperature heat source using a heat pump. Zero-Energy Houses are not necessarily limited to a certain type, passive or active, but combine both types to maximize energy-saving as a general trend.
Source | The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport
Q CELLS, in line with the latest trends for net-zero energy homes, is offering a residential solar solution that utilizes eco-friendly energy sources. Q.HOME is Q CELLS’ leading and comprehensive residential ESS solution that provides smart energy management systems for residential users. Q.HOME stores excess electricity produced, allowing users to consume the stored electricity at any time, improving home energy efficiency and permitting consumers to actively respond to the electricity billing system.
▲ Q.HOME, Q CELLS’ comprehensive solution for residential ESS
Q CELLS, which has the lead in the global residential solar market, retains the number one share of the residential PV market in the US, Germany and Japan, offering high efficiency and high performance solutions best suited to the needs of consumers. In addition, in Korea, it has been designated as a residential solar leasing company¹ by Korea Energy Agency since 2014 to install solutions at more than 5,100 apartments and houses, contributing to the growth of eco-friendly energy housing. The rooftop solar power modules installed at Shinjung Eppen House Complex #5 produce 240kWp in electricity and save KRW 50 million in electricity costs annually. For this achievement, Q CELLS received the grand prize in the apartment category of the 2019 ‘Energy Saving Contest’ hosted by the Seoul government.
In addition to this recognition, in March of 2019, a 100% energy-autonomous passive house in Germany equipped with Q CELLS’ solar modules received the Federal Prize for Outstanding Innovative Achievements from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology for achieving carbon neutrality through eco-friendly construction and equipment. As transforming traditional homes into Zero-Energy Housing has become a global trend, Q CELLS will continue to take the initiative in achieving zero carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency through residential solar energy solutions suited to the needs of each country and region.
1) Solar leasing company | Under a solar lease program run by Korea Energy Agency, consumers who want to install solar modules for a detached house or apartment make monthly payments, without initial investment, to a solar leasing company for using the modules. A solar leasing company is a service provider that installs, operates and maintains PV solar modules during the lease contract period.