The energy sector is undergoing a transition towards becoming cleaner and more sustainable. Low carbon technologies, such as wind, solar PV, battery storage and EVs are becoming price competitive and increasingly part of the energy mix. Large centralised generators are being displaced by decentralised generation. In parallel, there is an increasing environmental awareness in society; habits, lifestyles and consumption choices are changing, including heightened consumer interest in their energy sources but more importantly, about whether energy comes from clean forms of generation.
What is the challenge?
The increased roll out of low carbon technologies has created new challenges for the low voltage distribution network. The amount of generation connected at the distribution level in the UK has grown, and will continue to grow, significantly. Over the last five years, generation connected at distribution level has doubled, representing currently over a quarter of total GB capacity. Additional complexities have emerged, as the network was not originally designed to accommodate large amounts of distributed generation. DNOs are transitioning to system operators as the network becomes more intricate. This means DNOs now take a more active role in managing the grid to meet the needs of energy consumers in the most cost-effective way possible.
What is the proposed solution and how is OpenLV enabling it?
Equiwatt is developing a digital platform that rewards households for allowing electrical appliances to be automatically managed according to smart grid requirements. Through the platform, energy consumption can be managed more efficiently with the potential to realise significant savings for the system operator, DNOs, energy companies and end consumers, as well as delivering environmental benefits. Data from the OpenLV trial has been used to simulate network and DSR events. This data has been translated into signals that send actionable responses to connected domestic loads, including EV charging and smart household appliances.