Energy for the home

The American Honda Motor Company is working with MA-based Climate Energy to bring a unique form of home heat and power technology to market.

The system uses micro combined heat and power (MCHP) cogeneration technology with natural gas to provide residential heat and electric power.

Honda will supply its compact home-use cogeneration unit to Climate Energy who will combine it with a furnace or boiler, and market the entire system as an alternative to conventional space heating and electric power.

Working in coordination with state and local authorities as well as energy utilities, limited test installations will occur by late 2005, with more widespread distribution planned from the autumn of 2006.

The Honda unit’s compact design consists of a small natural gas-powered internal combustion engine developed specifically for this application, and a small electrical generation system that uses Honda’s sine wave inverter technology. Designed primarily for detached single-family homes, the unit will generate up to 3kW of thermal output per hour and 1kW of electricity.

The complete Climate Energy Micro-CHP system, powered by the Honda MCHP unit, is more than 85% efficient in converting fuel energy into useful heat and electric power. The company says that this represents a large improvement over conventional heating appliances and grid-supplied electric power. The user of the system also has the ability to sell power generated by the appliance back to the grid at full retail value.

A similar version of Honda’s cogeneration unit has been available for use in Japan since March of 2003, and is now in more than 15,000 homes.