The Ubiquitous Storage Empowering Response (USER) project consortium is pleased to announce it has been awarded ‘Collaboration of the Year’ at the H&V News Awards 2020.
The USER project combines the complementary expertise of six organisations including Levelise, Baxi Heating, Ecuity, Energy Systems Catapult, Project Solar UK, and Durham University to tap into a compelling DSR opportunity, using an artificial intelligence-led ‘Smart Hub’ together with the humble hot water cylinder.
The Smart Hub, developed by Levelise, is able to transform domestic hot water cylinders into grid interactive DSR assets and is being trialled in 350 residential properties across the country. The trial will demonstrate the benefits the innovative technology can deliver to both individual households and the wider energy system. When the grid needs balancing due to surplus renewable energy generation, the Smart Hub triggers the cylinders’ immersion heater to heat water for use later in the day, when less energy is available and prices are typically higher.
A significant 9 million hot water cylinders are installed in UK homes today, meaning there is around 27GW of latent hot water storage capacity currently being used inefficiently. Transforming these cylinders so that they can offer demand side response services to the grid will support the UK’s transition to net zero. As a simple ‘add on’ device, the Smart Hub is also a cost-effective DSR solution, suitable for both new builds and retrofits regardless of how they are heated.
All 350 trialists have now been confirmed. Despite delays due to Covid-19, one third of the installations are now complete and providing DSR services to the National Grid. Participants include housing associations, private lettings, and student accommodation.
For more information on this project please contact James Timbs-Harrison.