Tiny House – The big trend towards a small footprint

Bad Staffelstein, 22 November 2022 – IBC SOLAR, a leading full-service provider of solar energy solutions, is supporting a Tiny House project of the Faculty of Design at Coburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The experimental building is available to guest lecturers and students during the academic year from March to December and demonstrates how energy self-sufficient and CO2-neutral living can be implemented in practice. For the energy supply, IBC SOLAR delivered and installed a complete photovoltaic system including storage. In addition, the solar experts provided the university project team with advice and hands-on support during the planning and implementation of the system.

The Tiny House concept is being used in more and more applications, especially when it comes to using small remaining spaces in the city. Not only minimalists, but also students, senior citizens, and many others, who do not want to spend the majority of their income on rent, are enthusiastic about living in a compact format. This form of living also reflects the idea of sustainability. The desire for self-sufficiency can be realised particularly well in a tiny house. This also applies to energy independence, which is particularly easy to implement with the help of solar energy and a manageable storage volume for the compact living concept.

Sustainability demonstrated in practice

As part of a project and a summer school initiative in the summer semester of 2021, architecture students from the Design Faculty worked on this exciting practical project under the direction of architecture professor Rainer Hirth and lecturer Anders Macht. The idea was to create a CO2-free experimental building in which energy monitoring can be carried out over several years in an inhabited state. A special feature: The living concept was planned to not only be energy self-sufficient, but also manage without any CO2-emitting building materials.

In order to find an experienced partner for the implementation, the university team turned to IBC SOLAR. "We were very interested to support this project, as the combination of energy independence and sustainable building materials is also very exciting for us," explains Dr. Stratis Tapanlis, Director Commercial Energy Systems at IBC SOLAR. "We also implemented our last trade stand at the Intersolar in Munich, for example, according to cradle-to-cradle principles."

Successful implementation

The university's plan was to cover the heating and power supply for the Tiny House using solely the PV system without a grid connection. The surplus solar energy in summer will also be used to charge e-bikes.

IBC SOLAR provided the PV modules, mounting and energy storage solution. 12 IBC SOLAR modules were used for a total of 4.4 kWp, combined with the IBC SOLAR TopFix 200 Eco mounting brackets for trapezoidal sheet metal. The BYD Battery-Box Premium LVS energy storage system provides a storage capacity of 8 kWh. Thanks to the modular design of the storage unit, it could also be expanded in the future if the system were to be extended.

The IBC SOLAR team supported the students in the planning and design of the systems as well as with the implementation and installation on site. A heating system was also connected for the winter, and the first guests have already stayed in the Tiny House. In addition, the project has recently received the CREAPOLIS Award.

“We are very happy about the support we received from IBC SOLAR. Without their sponsorship of the system components as well as their consulting and assembly services, we as a university would not have been able to implement such a project,” explains Prof. Rainer Hirth. "In this way the students not only had the opportunity to practice project planning, but also to experience a real-life professional installation."

"IBC SOLAR is happy to support ambitious student projects, because for a sustainable future we need innovative approaches as well as dedicated engineers, architects and solar installers," emphasises Dr. Stratis Tapanlis, Director Commercial Energy Systems at IBC SOLAR. "We were very impressed by the design of the Tiny House according to cradle-to-cradle principles with renewable raw materials such as straw, wood and clay. A sustainable energy supply is an equally important component for future living concepts and we are very happy to contribute to this goal.”

Photo caption:
From left to right: Dr. Stratis Tapanlis, IBC SOLAR AG, Director Commercial Energy Systems; Oliver Oswald, IBC SOLAR AG, Project Engineer Commercial Energy Systems; Prof. Dr. Rainer Hirth, HS Coburg; Benedikt Pfuhlmann, Student HS Coburg; Julius Möhrstedt, IBC SOLAR AG, Shareholder.