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Most people building a new home want it to be energy efficient. Thankfully, the EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ensures that process is met with regulations with most EU countries nearly at nZEB standard currently. This change in standards which occurred aggressively since 2008 will be a shock to anyone not having built a new home or lived in a post 2011 home. nZEB may be a new phrase to the general public but it is well known among the building professionals as it is the new EU standard for homes to be built from 2020. nZEB stands for near Zero Energy Build. For example, Ireland has a current EPC (Energy Performance Certificate (BER)) requirement of less than 75 kWhrs/m2/year of energy consumption (A3) and nZEB in Ireland will be less than 45 kWhrs/m2/year. HONE already delivers nZEB standards of energy performance and is the only renewable technology to meet this standard.


German Government Social Housing is currently using nZEB as the standard of choice and HONE systems are being deployed in large German Social Housing Projects as only HONE is meeting the standard up front. Other EU countries such as Ireland are close with an implementation date of 2017/2018 for residential and commercial buildings. Germany and Denmark has already banned oil boilers.


nZEB should be the standard that every new build home owner wants for their new home and amazingly HONE gets you there simply by putting a HONE Thermal/Electric system into the building. We can advise on how its done but read the FAQ at the end of this category for more info.




Model Home Specification

    • # Oil or gas condensing boiler (approx 5-15kw utility model) as you will have simple, clean backup. (you could use electric, solid fuel, other backup as well)
    • # Full "whole house" MHVR (Mechanical Heat Ventilation Recovery) system. This will spread the heat around your home, remove any risk of condensations or mould. (make sure this is a good one)
    • # No chimneys. (this is the norm now to meet new regulations, it also saves you money on construction costs)
    • # A suitable HONE Free energy system for Central heating, Hot Water & Electricity production.
    • # You won't need any electric showers or electric immersion, you'll have "real" showers or baths on demand 24/7.
    • # Small slim radiators in your "static" rooms, bed, living, etc (typically only 6 per 4 bed house) and towel radiators in any bathrooms..
    • # You can add a small non-boiler stove for weekends, holidays and the MHRV will distribute the heat around the house (make sure it is a very small one (5kw) as you won't need the heat).
    • # That's it, and you'll have a typical total heating bill of €100 a year and save you up to 89% of your A2 nZEB (45kWhrs/m2/year) expected heating bill.
    • # Your heating system will be simple, compact and fully automated & you won't need any expensive under floor heating systems. (HONE works with these also).
    • # Tip: If you install a standard UPS (uninterruptible power supply), your HONE heating system will still work in a power cut.


Retrofitting an existing Home with HONE is very easy. This is exactly what it was designed for. It makes no difference what existing system you have in your home. If your home is 200 years old, oil fired with radiators, it won't make any difference. HONE works on every building as it is a high temperature heat source which also produces electricity. Most people are unaware that a new tax under non-ETS emissions will apply to all EU countries not meeting Renewable Heating targets by 2020. At the moment this is a approx €645 per domestic household in Ireland & £540 per household in the UK per year after 2020 based on current data.


You don't need to change your radiators but you won't need to use your electric shower or immersion any more as you will have hot water on demand and all the energy HONE uses is Daylight.





For domestic projects, installation options are very simple, if you are designing a new home, HONE can be added very easily. If you are retrofitting to an existing home, then the main question is the amount of roof space available. We have only 2 types of systems, heating & hot water OR just hot water. Of course both systems will also produce free electricity.


New Build: adding a HONE system to a new build is easy, and it is also the quickest payback as the NET extra cost does not include hot water cylinder, installation, etc. as you would have to do this work regardless.


Retrofit: adding a HONE system to a retrofit building is also easy in most cases. There is a requirement to upgrade your hot water cylinder with a high temperature energy store and install it but your energy bills will collapse so payback period without any grant/subsidy support is still typically 5 years. There is no need to change radiators or anything else. This is a major advantage HONE has over Heat Pumps in retrofitting.



Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any rule of thumb or good advice I should abide by in a new build ?
Yes, when you are building a low energy home, you should plan to lower the cost of your heating infrastructure and to simplify its design. A low energy home should be simple to operate, easy to maintain and designed in such a way that you do not buy yourself into an existing fuel source permanently. We discuss some of these points here. It's your money and your decision so we want you to understand why these decisions make sense.
I am being advised to design my home as an "island", what does that mean ?
Islanding your home means that you are insulating yourself from external influences as much as makes sense. This may be done because of cost rise potential or even supply risks. This is becoming very popular right now and it makes perfect sense. Just ask yourself, if any of your decisions will lock you into external elements. i.e. if the gas was suddenly turned off, will you have any heating or hot water ?. If the electricity was suddenly turned off, will you have any heating or hot water ?. Are you protected from outside impacts beyond your control. This is what is referred to as "islanding" your home. HONE makes a perfect island approach as you can interface any backup heat source with it at any stage and the majority of your energy is coming FREE from Daylight. In addition, the whole system can be run with a basic UPS.
What about Mechanical Heat Ventilation Recovery - MHRV or MHVR ?
This is a no brainer in our opinion and in most situations from 2016, it is impossible in Europe to meet building regulations with out making your new home air tight. (you can also upgrade an existing home in a lot of cases). With an airtight low energy home, you will need a ventilation system or you will have mould and condensation in addition to potential health issues. If it is properly designed, this invisible system will also manage the space heating for you throughout the building by moving the heat around the building. Don't cut corners on this step, it is key to a great design and comfort.
What about under floor heating, I am told this is the way to go ?

Under floor heating may be a good idea in some countries and projects but may not suit yours. It is about 6-8 times more expensive to install than using radiators and it costs the same to install under floor in a 200 sqm old home as in a 200 sqm brand new one except your new home uses a lot less energy. Certain countries which have changeable weather should always be careful about under floor heating as it actually is a storage heater. The concrete slab wrapped around your under floor heating piping needs about 3-4 hours to warm up and the same to cool down. In places such as the UK and Ireland where you can experience 4 seasons before lunchtime, under floor could be an expensive mistake.


Imagine, it is raining heavily and you have your under floor heating running and then the sun comes out and starts shining in the windows of your nice new energy efficient home, the temperature will climb rapidly and you won't be able to stop your heating system for 4 hours and all that energy will make your home very uncomfortable for several hours.


By using radiators, you can turn your heat on instantly and turn it off instantly; thus using the correct amount of energy, the lowest running cost and keeping your home at the right temperature. This is worth considering especially if your building has lots of glazing. Using radiators in a modern A3 (75 kWhrs/m2/year or better means only a few slim radiators are needed, typically only 6 in a 2,000 sq ft home and not under any window so your walls are clear. The design considerations have all changed. Under floor is really expensive in a new build compared to the alternatives. Under floor is being promoted as installers get bigger profits than alternatives and heat pumps can't use standard high temperature options as they don't get hot enough. It's advisable to do your homework.

Can installers do my total plumbing job on my new build ?
Yes, and this is the most cost effective way of implementing HONE in a new build.
How much space is required ?
On your roof (or ground/wall, you need from 6M x 2M upwards) depending on the size and heat load of your home. A typical detached home larger than 140 sqm is typically twice that for a full HONE central heating & hot water system but a HONE hot water system which will still reduce your heating bills by 50% is 6M x 2M. This means most homes are suitable unless you have lots of roof structures. To give you an example, a typical 130 sqm (1,400 sq ft) bungulow roof can hold 3 full HONE central heating & hot water systems.


Inside the home, we need to install the HONE energy store instead of your existing hot water cylinder so that would typically go in the same location. The electricity inverter is a small device and can go into the attic. The plumbing/electrical controls, pump sets, etc. as located alongside the energy store.


Example from a 2001 detached home with a HONE central heating/hot water & electricity system, this is the ony equipment in the home and there is no hot water cylinder required as hot water is available on demand 24/7, all FREE Daylight energy, day and night.


Can I upgrade from solar hot water and heat pumps ?
Yes, and it will depend on your current installation. It should be pointed out that you cannot replace existing solar hot water collectors with HONE collectors as HONE collectors are part of a Nanotech Heat Engine system so the complete HONE system must be installed with the HONE energy store. Your existing solar hot water system would need to be removed. In heat pump installs, you can use your heat pump as backup to the HONE system.
How do I operate the system ?
This is what is great about a HONE system, it is fully automatic. You just turn your heating on when you need it and you have free hot water on demand 24/7 with electric shower or electric immersion. The HONE system energy is used first before your backup. It is normal for your backup to be off permanently for months of the year.
What type of existing system do I need ?
You need a Hydronic heating system, this is "posh" speak for a heating system based on water. If you have a boiler connected to radiators, under floor or some form of ventilation system heating cassette, HONE is a breeze. If you have a home with old style storage or electric heating then you can add a hydronic heating system to your home and should as even oil fired heating is 6 times cheaper than electric heating. You can use any backup heat source with HONE from oil, gas, solid fuel (no boiler), pellet, electric and even a hamster running around a wheel.
What is the main difference betwen HONE and heat pumps ?
The difference is very simple when you look at all the detail. A HONE system has a COP (Coefficient of performance) 100 times greater than a heat pump and a the higher the COP, the more renewable (FREE) energy it produces. A HONE system can use a simple radiator installation and not expensive under floor. The reason for this is that HONE is a high temperature system and heat pumps are low temperature so need under floor heating which low temperature. (please don't confuse low temperature with low running cost !!). HONE produces free electricity for your building and heat pumps use your electricity to power themselves. HONE is a science based heat engine so has no expensive parts to replace and heat pumps are mainly a large compressor which has a life span and a big big bill of several thousand euros when they fail. (this significant replacement cost is why you hear stories of homeowners installing oil boilers again when their heat pump compressor fails, finding €3,000 to €6,000 on a cold winter night for emergency repairs is not something any homeowner wants to face)
What type of existing system do I need ?
You need a Hydronic heating system, this is "posh" speak for a heating system based on water. If you have a boiler connected to radiators, under floor or some form of ventilation system heating cassette, HONE is a breeze. If you have a home with old style storage or electric heating then you can add a hydronic heating system to your home and should as even oil fired heating is 6 times cheaper than electric heating. You can use any backup heat source with HONE from oil, gas, solid fuel (no boiler), pellet, electric and even a hamster running around a wheel.
Is there an advantage with a co-generation technology like HONE ?
The great thing about HONE in domestic projects is that it is a cogen technology, producing central heating (cooling if applicable), hot water & electricity all at the highest efficiency possible. With limited roof space, you no longer have to pick one of the other for your roof, HONE is the world's most powerful cogen renewable technology.
Is there really no fuel used by HONE to produce its energy ?
Absolutely none. HONE is Daylight fuelled for both its electrical & thermal energy. In addition, most of it pumping is powered by Daylight using laminar pumps, another HONE innovation so the only real power you are using is the electricity to run the system which is about €12 euro a year. That means €12 euro is the total cost to your wallet to run a HONE system each year, everything else is free energy harvested from Daylight. If you are using a HONE Thermal/Electric system, then this system produces approx €170/£130 worth of electricity (IE/UK) a year so HONE is actually the ONLY free renewable technology in the world today, hence the crazy COP's in excess lf 1:600.
A heat pump and a big solar PV system is being proposed for my new build to meet regulations ?
As your heat pump is not able to get your plans past regulations limiting CO2 emissions and design criteria, a big Solar PV system is being proposed to further reduce CO2 on your building to get it over the line. This setup is understandable as the rules are not necessarily designed to make your bills lower, they are really about lowering your countries emissions under EU legally binding targets.


If you think about this for a minute. Your heat pump needs to work its hardest in winter, uses electricity to provide that heating. The Solar PV system will work in summer and not contribute anything to running your heat pump. Unless you have a large Solar Government Tariff in your country, all the energy will be spilled into the grid for free for the energy companies to sell. The benefit will help Government as each Solar PV system will reduce the countries emissions and the home owner will have paid for the system !!.


This approach is about just meeting regulations for a builder to complete the project but the homeowner is left with the electricity bills. (see the UK Governments own report on Heat Pumps April 2016, which showed that 43% of Heat Pumps were so inefficient that they did not even meet the minimum requirement to be considered a renewable technology under the EU renewable energy directive and most gas and oil boilers would have been cheaper to run. (see full report on our blog)
Why am I being bombarded by heat pumps as an option ?

This is a complex question and you should make your own mind up from the facts.


1/ Air Source Heat Pumps (the least efficient ones) are easy to install and need full under floor heating all over the home, upstairs/downstairs, its a nice big job for a plumbing contractor. It is also likely to require nice service and support income. Try getting a quote for a passive house plumbing job with 2 or 3 radiators !!.


2/ Heating that is not produced using electricity falls under EU non-ETS emissions which are fines falling directly on the Government of each EU country. Electricity is part of the ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) so is not a liability on Government so they like electricity doing stuff, electric cars, electric heating, all starting to ring a bell !!. Countries are way behind in their 2020 targets and face fines from 2020 (€350 Million a year in Ireland, potentially £6 Billion a year in UK) and so on across Europe. If Governments can force people onto electric heating and not just heat pumps but any electric heating, they will save billions in fines. Ironically, if you look at the emissions of electric heating, it is higher than oil & gas and electricity is produced from coal in all the big plants so heat pumps are in a large way coal fired heating. So it begs the question why Government want to do this; but we already explained that. Just because your Government tells you something is good, they may mean it's good for them and if all heating went onto the grid, the liability of fines would move onto the ETS scheme and away from Government.


Note: Last Nov 2015, the state of the nation in Paris at the Climate Change Conference, Ireland and the UK were at approx. €650 per household in potential fines starting 2020. This is why Governments are desperate to move everything to electricity.


Your solution is to just make your own free energy using HONE and outfox them.

Building regulations are really diffcult and curtailing my home design options, what passes them ?
You will not get oil fired or gas fired heating over the line anymore. You are really left with 2 options HONE with gas/oil backup will get you an A2 or down to 35 kWhrs/m2 fairly easily and well past regulations wit very low bills. Alternatively, you can follow the Government sponsored option where you put in a Heat Pump but will need a large Solar PV system to help the grid to get it over the line. These are really your only options anymore. Only one comes with very low bills and certainty that they will stay there.
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About HONE

HONE is a ground breaking molecular heat engine Technology using advanced Nanotechnology to capture Daylight instead of Sunlight as a valuable heat source. This energy can be used for FREE Heating, Cooling & Electricity Production.

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