The smart strawbale house

Author: Joachim Plaetner Kjeldsen

Amongst the sustainable buildings at Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy we find the strawbale house which was built in 1998. The strawbale house has it’s own wind turbine, solar heating, battery bank and is filled with tech and ‘internet of things’ that makes it possible to program the house for any imaginable energy-scenario. With a couple of clicks on a computer you can set it up for automatically charging the batteries, direct power from the wind turbine to the grid or heating water in the house depending on electricity prices, wind speed, state of battery charge or other parameters you might want.

Our data-specialist here at Folkecenter, Anker Mardal, has installed the system and made the strawbale house smart. In the video bellow you can follow him on a quick tour round the house as he talks us through the system and it’s possibilities.

– Here you see the voltage of the wind turbine. The more the wind blows the more amps we place in the batteries, .

he says, as he’s standing by a gage in the attic of the strawbale house.


An inverter makes sure that DC-current from the wind turbine can be used as AC-current in the house, charge the batteries or directed to the grid. The ‘brain’ of the system is called Cerbo GX – a small box the size of a pack of matches.

– Many might think – do we really need that? But it’s the part than can be programmed to keep track of electricity prices, how much the wind turbine produces and heating in the house. It has many plugins, and you can set it up for starting an external diesel- or biofuel generator if needs be. It’s sort of the ‘brain’ of the system. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s probably the most important part in systems like this,

says Anker Mardal. 

Tech in the straw bale house

Victron Multiplus II (inverter)

Victron Cerbo GX

24 pc. 270 Ah 2V batteries (13 kWh)

48 Volts, 2 kW Proven wind turbine

Folkecenter's Strawbale house

In the video you can follow Anker on a quick tour around the house as he talks you through the system.

The smarthouse have solar heating, wind turbine, battery bank and can be programmed with various energy-scenarios.