Michael Jantzen designs the Power House

The Power House is a new kind of wind and solar powered modular building system

11 October 2007
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    As part of my on going effort to create alternative eco-friendly architectural design concepts that incorporate alternative energy gathering and storage systems, I have designed a building system called the Power House.The Power House is a conceptual proposal for a modular building system that can vary in size and shape depending on how the basic modules are configured. The structures can be used as alternative houses, and/or for many other uses such as commercial or retail facilities. This particular design is based on twenty two foot square modules that can be used independently, and/or clustered together directly or with smaller connector modules, to form larger structures. These smaller connector modules can vary in size and can also be used as small room additions.The Power House can be made of various kinds of materials, however most of the present research is being directed towards insulated concrete structures or composite materials that would be used to clad structurally insulated foam panels.The basic design of the Power House building system was inspired by the incorporation of a wind turbine that was designed by the CEO and founder of Aerotecture International ( Bil Becker. His company is located in Chicago Illinois where the wind turbines are presently being manufactured and marketed.In my present Power House design, an Aerotecture wing turbine is mounted on the top of each twenty two foot module. In addition to the wind turbines, some of the modules are also fitted with banks of photovoltaic cells. The photovoltaic cells and the wind turbines generate electricity from the wind and the sun, which is used directly to power the structures off of the conventional utility grid. This electricity can also be used to power other facilities in the surrounding area, and/or it can be sent back into the conventional utility grid.The Power House is designed to be partially passively heated by the sun in the winter, and naturally cooled in the summer. Various alternative methods are employed to do this depending on the specific site conditions. Rain water can be collected from the roofs of the structures, and stored in underground containers for later use.Domestic water can be heated by the sun. Hydrogen gas could also be manufactured on site from the rain water through electrolytic dissociation. The energy needed for this process would come from the photovoltaic cells, and/or from the wind turbines. This hydrogen gas could also be used as back-up fuel for space heating, water heating, powering appliances, vehicles, etc.

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