Smart homes - lights out!

Smart HomesI was scheduled to speak on Smart metering at an EU Smart Metering conference in Amsterdam in June. Having seen a number of initiatives being put forward to link up intelligent home controllers to market prices I thought it would be interesting to build a model of what could happen given the feedback loops in the Smart system.

I asked my colleague, George Danner of the Business laboratory if he would build a model for me using the mathematical formalisms suited to modelling complex dynamic systems.

This he did and so I was able to demonstrate how daily demand and market prices behaved in a world with no home control and in a world with significant home control linked to market prices (i.e. the home controller chooses to run appliances at times of cheap electricity if it can).

As expected bringing in significant home control smoothed the load curve and dropped average power prices. However, in the simulation with the wind blowing at night in a world with significant wind powered generation the system became unstable and power cuts followed.

Interesting how complex dynamic system models can give you prior insight into what unexpected consequences may lie ahead.

If only the banking community had used them!

Published by: Enstra Consulting

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The Internet of Energy

Read the recent article by Ian Campbell of Enstra on the coming of age of the Internet of Energy based on his insights from being chair of the Smarter Homes and Buildings group at the EUA.  You can read the article by clicking here.

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