Balanced Energy Networks
Demand Side Response
Demand Response Benefits
Businesses can save money if they are prepared to be flexible in the timing of their demand for electricity and participate in "load balancing" of the Grid.
Demand Side Response
The generating companies are beginning to offer lower prices to customers who can be induced to increase their demand in response to lower prices when supply exceeds demand – and to delay their demand for electricity at times of peak demand: "demand response".
A key opportunity opens up for organisations which consume very large amounts of electricity to delay their demand away from on-peak times in favour of off-peak consumption by agreeing service use contracts directly with the National Grid. Those not in the big league can also get some of these benefits by working through an "Aggregator" who parcels up a set of smaller contracts to give themselves enough scale to contract with the National Grid.
Internet of Things
An Aggregator needs be in direct touch with a large number of devices using bi-directional sensors and controls across the Internet. These devices in homes and businesses can then be quickly switched on or off at the right time, communicating through the Internet of Things.
This includes those using electric heating – including heat pumps – to heat large buildings, and those using electric cooling to transfer heat out of buildings in summer, especially if they are employing seasonal thermal storage to store surplus summer heat to the ground. They have an opportunity to exploit the thermal inertia of their buildings to store heat when electricity is cheaper and delay heating when the price of electricity is higher.
Upside Energy, a BEN Consortium partner, worked with ICAX on the original Balanced Energy Network at London South Bank University in order to embed the communications links from ICAX controls systems for heat pumps to the Upside Cloud systems to enable LSBU to take advantage of Demand Side Response.
The joint objective of Upside and ICAX has been to maximise earnings from Demand Side Response without compromising the heating and cooling functions of ICAX heat pumps.
Balancing Supply and Demand for Electricity
See brief video on Balancing supply and demand for electricity.
Upside Energy is building up connections to a large number of electrical assets (Uninterruptible Power Supplies, electric vehicles, heat pumps, batteries etc) and also thermal stores (distributed heat storage tanks and the thermal mass of buildings) in order to be able to earn income for the owners based on this "virtual energy store".