Flexible loads available in the NEM

The 2004 report http://www.energyrating.gov.au/library/pubs/200412-mepspools.pdf identifies that in Australia swimming pools and spas account for 3.3% of residential sector electricity. Pool pumps make a great “flexible” load; they are used for long periods of time even at times when it is likely that a demand side response is required, each pump uses a useful amount of energy, and nobody is going to mind too much if they are off for short periods of time.

Hot water is also a handy flexible load. Hot water uses around 30% of domestic energy consumption in most coutries including Australia. In Australia domestic energy is 28% of total energy (37% in the UK and USA). So hot water is around 10% of the grid in Australia and more overseas.

After a basic WW energy monitoring system is installed, it is a small step to include control over devices such as poolpumps and hot water (see last post).

In a deregulated environment, this flexible load can be (through contracts and technology) “mated” with flexible generators such as wind to create a stable grid and enable increased use of renewables.

The major market problemwith wind is that rapid fluctuations make it difficult to write contracts. However, these contracts become much more valuable when “backed off” with a demand side contract with access to 13% of the total grid!

Most pool pumps run on a timer. When installing control gear for poolpumps it should be possible to install a turbidity sensor that runs the pump for as long as it needs to run, and no longer, with potential energt, cost, and carbon savings.

In a WW system, verification of demand side reduction is automatic and accurate, as each load is constantly being monitored.

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