The One Tonne Life project has ended and the content on this web page is static and is not updated any more. The project was unique and pioneering, making the conclusions and all information connected to the project just as interesting and up-to-date today as when it was run. Read more about the project and get inspired! (March 2017)

One Tonne Life
Vattenfall

Tag: solar heating

From forest to finished house – part 2: Biofuel

The Derome Group specialises in the wood processing operations and together with its subsidiary A-hus has a very strong pro-environmental profile. In addition to building low-energy homes such as the One Tonne Life house, the company also works in the following areas:

Wood – lobbies for increased use of wood in construction (as a building material wood is 10 times more climate-friendly than concrete)

Bio-energy – supplies biofuels (see below)

Solar heating – uses solar energy systems

Wind power – meeting all its electricity needs by 2012

Energy efficiency enhancement – to reduce consumption in production

Forestry – helps forest owners migrate to environmentally optimised forestry methods

During the Lindell family’s visit, Jonathan and A-hus President Peter Mossbrant size up the mountain of wood shavings produced by the sawmill.

Peter explains how the wood shavings from the sawmill are compressed to form pellets that can be used as fuel in the boiler.

Hannah, on the other hand, put the wood shavings to good use, improving her tan in the spring sunshine.

The house’s solar cells

The Lindells have solutions that will make things easier for them on their journey towards one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions per person per year. One of the challenges the family are facing is to reduce their electricity consumption. In order to further cut their energy usage, the One Tonne Live house will produce its own energy. Firstly via solar heating and secondly via solar cells that generate electricity. The electricity is produced by the house’s own solar cells which are fitted on the south-facing roof and façade. This electricity is used by the Lindells for cooking, recharging the family’s electric car and for powering other equipment at home. The solar heat that the house stores will produce most energy while the house is empty, for instance during the day while everyone is at work and school or while they are away during their summer vacation. Since solar heating produces a surplus of electricity, this will be fed into Vattenfall’s grid, with a corresponding amount of electricity fed back into the house when the sun is not shining.

The cells, made by Sulfurcell, are what are known as thin-film solar cells. All told, the One Tonne Life house’s 96 square metres of solar panelling will produce about 5000kWh/year in a normal year. Factors that affect actual output are how sunny the weather is during the year, the angle of the panels facing the sun, and the direction they face. The geographic location of the house itself is also a major factor – a house in the southern Swedish province of Skåne will produce more electricity than one in Norrland in the north of the country.

There are several different types of solar cell technology and thin-film is one of them. The advantages of the thin-film solution are its design and the fact that it creates a uniform, neatly integrated impression, as well as its price. This is an important consideration in order to recoup their cost over the years.

Christian Axelsson, A-hus

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