Dynamic Demand Management of Electrical Loads


By Terry Wyatt

By Terry Wyatt, CIBSE Past President


When it comes to energy, that vital part of our way of living, we are in a sad situation. We are the customers, but the supply side wields control. We have brought this upon ourselves by expecting unlimited energy always to be available at the flick of a switch. The money-hungry suppliers have scant motivation to improve the system, so it is down to us to do so. One way of doing this is through a facility called dynamic demand management, DDM.

Nowhere is the need for DDM more clearly demonstrated than with the UK’s electricity supply. Here we have an industry delivering an increasingly essential product at low efficiency and seeing no need to make improvements. The old power plants, obtained at knockdown prices and long since paid for, generate a baseline supply that is cheap to make and deliver – yet the suppliers are allowed to charge the highest rate for initial units, which are the cheapest to generate (mine are charged at almost 26p, with subsequent ones 15p or less).

complete article at http://www.bsdlive.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=41&storycode=3132276&c=2

The technology

Dynamic demand control is a technology that can be incorporated into electrical appliances which enables them to provide important services to the power grid such as peak load management and second-to-second balancing of supply and demand.

Any electrical appliance that is time-flexible (in other words, is not too sensitive to when its energy is delivered) could be used. These could include industrial or commercial air conditioners, water heaters and refrigeration. Thousands (and eventually millions) of such loads acting in aggregation to could provide an extremely simple and cost-effective way of helping to manage the power grid. To date, Dynamic Demand has focused its attention on the potential for such services in relation to domestic and industrial refrigeration.

Research is becoming available which indicates that an aggregation of such ‘intelligent’ loads could be extremely beneficial, for example, by smoothing out the minute-to-minute and hourly variations in demand on the grid. This would replace certain types of back-up generation and hence increase efficiency. In future, the technology could be used to smooth the supply from renewable power. This could theoretically allow a greater amount of renewables to be connected.

If dynamic demand control is successful, the benefits could be considerable:

  • A more efficient power grid.
  • A more stable power grid.
  • The creation of new sustainable businesses.
  • Significantly reduced carbon-dioxide emissions from power generation.
  • Removal of some of the barriers to a higher proportion of renewable energy.
  • A reduction in the cost of renewable energy.

See a 60-second explanation here.


See also





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