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Appliance level control and automation is an increasingly promising demand-side management tool with growing installation of advanced metering, monitoring and control infrastructure in both residential and commercial contexts. Successful implementation of appliance control and automation can alleviate network peak demand and improve distributed photovoltaic (D-PV) self-consumption to reduce its network voltage and reverse power flow impacts. Domestic electric water heating (DEWH) systems are widely deployed globally and have one of the highest peak power draw and overall energy consumption of household appliances. DEWH storage tanks offer large thermal energy storage capacity which can be used for shifting demand to lower demand periods. With growing D-PV deployment, they also offer the opportunity to store excess generation that would be otherwise exported to the grid. In this work, an intelligent water heating control tool (IWHC) is developed to store excess D-PV generation in DEWH storage tanks as thermal energy, according to the D-PV generation characteristics, household electricity consumption, hot water draw (HWD) patterns, and real time energy monitoring. The IWHC tool was installed and tested in nine Australian households with D-PV and DEWH systems. For performance comparison, two other commercially available control tools, timer, and diverter, were installed and tested in eleven other households with D-PV and DEWH systems. For each control tool, energy simulation models were developed, and the collected field performance data was used to validate the models. The validated simulation models were extended to a broader set of 380 Australian households with a year of D-PV, household and DEWH electricity consumption data. The results indicate that, on average, households can utilize 2.4 kWh, 1.8 kWh and 3.4 kWh of daily excess D-PV generation for water heating, using the IWHC, timer and diverter, respectively. Financial savings from the control of DEWH are highly dependent on households' tariffs and daily HWD profiles. Under the most optimal morning dominant HWD profile scenario and with an average tariff, households can, on average, save $100, $80, and $170 per year with the IWHC, timer and diverter, respectively. However, the diverter's superior field performance comes with higher capital cost, making IWHC the most attractive option.
Water heating is one of the most energy intensive applications in households and domestic electric water heating systems (DEWH) offer large thermal storage for moving electrical load across the day. This study uses a unique dataset from 410 households and presents a comprehensive analysis of electricity consumption and hot water draw of DEWH for the Australian context. Using the real-world data and thermal energy modelling tool TRNSYS, the study analyses the potential of storing and using excess PV generation in DEWH and investigates the impact of different daily hot water draw profiles, PV and DEWH size on the potential for excess PV utilization. The results show that households on average use 6 kWh of energy for DEWH and 142 L of hot water daily. Potential excess PV utilization is highly dependent on the household's daily hot water draw profile and is also affected by seasonality. On average, excess PV generation from a 4.5 kW PV system can provide 48% of daily DEWH energy for a household with a typical working family profile, which corresponds to a 28% increase in PV self-consumption.
This report provides a review of demand response trials which have taken place in the NEM since 2010. The majority are run by DNSPs; either independently or in collaboration with non-DNSP partners. Trials would always use one of two methods – Behavioural Demand Response (BDR), where customers are incentivised to reduce their consumption during high demand events, or direct load control of Air conditioning (A/C) units.
One of the main goals of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) Project, Integrated Smart Home Energy Management is to control and automate major electrical appliances to bring financial and environmental benefits to household owners. Successful implementation of the project on a large number of households can also assist DNSP and networks as a demand response tool in managing peak demand and over voltage problems due to increasing levels of rooftop PV penetration. In this preliminary report, Solar Analytics households whose electric hot water system is monitored through a separate electrical circuit are studied to discover the characteristics of electricity consumption by hot water tank. In addition, potential of electric hot water load shifting capacity to the times of peak excess rooftop PV generation and associated financial benefits are discovered. It is found that: • On average households have 17.3 kWh of daily electricity load (excluding electric hot water), 6 kWh of daily electric hot water load and 15.6 kWh of daily rooftop PV generation, exporting 56.8% of their generation. • On average there is 4.3 kWh of daily electric hot water load that can be provided by excess rooftop PV generation per household which roughly corresponds to household's 70% of daily electricity consumption by hot water tank. • On average, annual savings range between $48-$324 depending on household's electricity and hot water heating tariff: continuous, control 1 (tariff 31) and control 2 (tariff 33). In general, the savings are greater for SA households followed by QLD and NSW. The obtained results are only indicative of the current tariff offers provided by major retailers and may change as new offers and control schemes come into play. The report also carries a preliminary network level load shifting analysis which shows the promising potential of shifting aggregate electric hot water load to solar generation times for reducing excess rooftop PV generation. As the next step, different electric hot water load shifting strategies should be investigated and tested on the chosen households. This will validate the obtained results of utilizing excess rooftop PV generation on electric hot water load and the associated savings for the households.
Pre-cooling is a way to include AC as part of a DSM control strategy. It involves cooling the thermal mass of a building prior to the time when space cooling would normally occur. The cooling energy required later is reduced by the residual cooling energy in the thermal mass. Solar pre-cooling uses excess solar PV generation to power the AC unit. In Australia, residential solar is a significant contributor to low net demand during the day, and residential AC cooling is a significant contributor to peak demand in the evening. Solar pre-cooling therefore has the potential to both mitigate the reduction in net demand caused by solar PV during the day, and reduce evening peak demand due to AC. Pre-cooling can be used to decrease cooling demand during peak times and reduce the cost of electricity through tariff arbitrage.
This report summarises the results and insights drawn from online surveys of Solar Analytics customers and other energy consumers and prosumers with an interest in Smart Home Energy Management Systems (SHEMS), as well as in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 24 of the participants. tl;dr Consumers and prosumers want individual circuit monitoring, appliance control, and costed, evidenced, real-time load-shifting advice. They want air-conditioning control, but pre-heating and cooling don’t really work in their leaky house. They don’t think about hot water much, but there may be an opportunity there. Some love optimisation and automation while others want intelligent advisory notifications and to keep control; horses for courses. Even if they love automation they need an override, and not everyone in the household feels the same. The energy management needs and constraints of working families are very distinct from those of households with people at home during the day. Economic, environmental, comfort and independence motivations are inextricably entwined and all need to be addressed. People want reliability, smarts (but not stupid smarts), system security, clear messaging that their gran can understand. Some will pay for the convenience, data visibility or environmental benefit of HEMS, but most want to see evidence of ROI (more than they do for monitoring). They’re open to the idea of demand response or network control of DERs but it has to be fair and equitable and come with reasonable compensation. They’re not sure they’d trust any energy company to manage it and they think perhaps the government could show some leadership.
Residential Virtual Power Plants (VPP) are emerging as a promising new technology to manage peak demand, control frequency and manage network augmentation costs. However, they require electricity users to configure new and existing appliances for orchestration by a third party. This report delivers findings from 10 interviews with solar PV homeowners, which included virtual home tours, and 6 focus groups with a total of 37 electricity customers with and without solar PV, carried out as part of the Consumer-led Distributed Energy Study (VPP) project led by Solar Analytics (SolA) and funded by NSW Department of Planning and Environment under the Emerging Energy Program. We found that energy users are ambivalent about the prospect of participating in Virtual Power Plants. This ambivalence relates to the four key themes found in our research: (1) the U-turn in energy user journey; (2) multiple dimensions of transparency; (3) configuration of control and (4) ambivalence about participating in another market.
Presenting the results obtained from the analysis of 630 households from Solar Analytics data-base with rooftop solar and electric hot water heating system (inc. heat pump)
The Energy Security Board commissioned the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets at the University of New South Wales to undertake analysis of voltage on the LV networks within the NEM, as well as distributed PV’s influence on that voltage. This work used a unique dataset of maximum and minimum voltage measurements over 12,000 sites in the LV network, provided by Solar Analytics, a company offering real-time performance monitoring for PV system owners.