Electrical Contracting News (ECN) August 2016 - Page 35

HVAC Smart grid The key to unlocking the potential of smart grid technology is to enable to consumer to realise the benefits and in order to fully exploit this, we really need smart meters. In the meantime, however, there are already a huge number of technological developments that can give householders greater control over their energy use and help to spread demand on the grid. With quick warm up times and huge storage potential, electric heating products including hot water cylinders and space heaters offer some of the greatest potential for smart grid connectivity. There are 2.1 million electrically heated domestic hot water cylinders in the UK. Based on an average capacity of 150 litres, heating water to a temperature of 65°C, we can assume that each cylinder can hold 9.6kWh of energy. Multiplied by 2.1 million cylinders, that is around 2GW of stored energy in our homes – more energy than the Ffestiniog pumped storage hydro-electric power plant stores. Around two million homes in the UK rely on electric storage heating and this is another area that has seen significant innovation to enable compatibility with the smart grid. In total, Dimplex estimates up to 10.8GW of energy is stored in electric storage heaters every night during winter. With modern appliances like the unique Dimplex Quantum off-peak heating system, this energy can be stored and used far more efficiently to give hea