Forward-thinking home shows what’s possible

The Sustainable Smart House at Lambton College converts renewable energy into hydrogen, which is stored in canisters to power other devices such as this two-seater tricycle. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz

Imagine living in a house that generates all of the energy it needs for heating, cooling and electricity.

What sounds like the future Lambton College is doing now at its Sustainable Smart House, part of the Lambton Energy Research Centre.

The house is net zero – meaning all the energy needed is generated within. It features solar, wind, geothermal, fuel cells and a unique process of hydrogen storage.

Any excess energy the Smart House generates can be converted into hydrogen through a special process. The hydrogen is then stored in canisters that can be plugged into other systems.

One such system is a ‘hydrogen tricycle’ that was on display Sept. 9 at the annual Green Energy Doors Open event, hosted by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association.

“We want to show precedence in the industry that we’re here to assist in not just new ideas, but also in research,” said Stephanie Bunko, co-ordinator of the Lambton Energy Research Centre.

The energy projects happening at Lambton are opportunities for both education and research, she said.

“I think people tend to forget that colleges are places of applied research, and we would be able to suit the needs of industry by getting that research and applying it to real life.”