Oct 2016
Electricity Distribution
FREEDOM - Flexible Residential Energy Efficiency Demand Optimisation and Management
Oct 2016
Jan 2019
Western Power Distribution, Western Power Distribution South West, Western Power Distribution South Wales, Western Power Distribution East Midlands, Western Power Distribution West Midlands and Wales and West Utilities
Faithful Chanda – WPD Innovation and Low Carbon Networks Engineer & Oliver Lancaster – WWU Principal Environmental Engineer
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Network Innovation Allowance
Heat Pumps, Gas Distribution Networks, Demand Response and Commercial
The proposed project runs for 27 months and has been broken down into two phases, which are defined in 14 work packages. The research objective is to better understand how hybrid heating systems can be:

  • Affordable through using advanced algorithms to unlock value from energy markets;

  • Trustworthy by building consumer trust in new technology whilst providing the same level of comfort in people’s homes; and

  • Developing appropriate user interfaces and information systems to help drive adoption.

All design and foundation development activities conclude in the first six months. Pilot installations are initially undertaken in four households before installations are rolled out to the rest of the trial properties, followed by a period of monitoring and experimentation phase which seeks to learn and then iteratively refine the heating and load management processes and the consumer interface and information provision over a full year.

The full size and scale of the potential solution will only become apparent when trials are conducted.

The research objective is to better understand if hybrid heating systems are technically capable, affordable and attractive to customers as a way of heating homes.  This project aims to investigate the feasibility of the use of heat pumps on both WPD’s & WWU’s network in order to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability of the hybrid heating system to switch between gas and electric load to provide fuel arbitrage and highly flexible demand response services;
  2. Demonstrate the consumer, network, carbon and energy system benefits of deployment of hybrid heating systems with an aggregated demand response control system; and
  3. Gain insights into the means of balancing the interests of the consumer, supplier, distribution and transmission network when seeking to derive value from the demand flexibility.
To collect a body of evidence to support this forward-looking concept. The research will document the outputs of the pilot installations, the system interfaces and customer feedback that will enable us to continue to the next steps towards a commercial solution.

The project will:

  1. Present a comprehensive review of the technology;

  2. Produce a case study of how the technology contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions and compares with previous energy bills for domestic consumers through increased heating system efficiencies and a reduced unit cost;

  3. Identify if the solution can bring benefits to WPD’s & WWU’s networks;

  4. Deploy trials subscribed to by up to 75 participants;

  5. Produce a proven architecture for the hybrid heating system; and

  6. Develop a business process (polices, standard techniques etc.) for the use of hybrid heating system.