052 BP 1016

BP 10 October 2016

RENEWABLES GET THE BALANCE RIGHT Providing a speedy demand side grid balancing service to help National Grid manage fluctuations in electricity supply and demand, Dynamic Demand will help sustain this precious utility, as Donna Hunt explains. Capable of switching equipment on or off as required within two seconds – making it one of the fastest forms of grid balancing available – Dynamic Demand is managed by Open Energi in order to provide National Grid with ‘Firm Frequency Response’. Otherwise it is almost entirely reliant on gas and coal-fired power stations for these services, which are also referred to as ‘spinning reserve’ or ‘peaking plant’. Most other forms of demand side management or demand side response, as it is sometimes called, are activated by a signal from National Grid asking them to curtail demand or increase generation (by switching on stand-by diesel generators, for example). Dynamic Demand responds to changes in the grid frequency (an indicator of whether electricity supply and demand are balanced) and does this automatically throughout the day with no intervention from National Grid. 52 BUILDING PRODUCTS | OCTOBER 2016 Now, through the Living Grid, Open Energi and Aggregate Industries are working together to achieve a world first; bitumen tanks helping to balance the grid. This project has involved equipping over 100 bitumen tanks at over 40 of Aggregate Industries’ asphalt plants nationwide with Dynamic Demand. These tanks are now delivering an equivalent service to a power station, but instead of increasing or decreasing the supply of energy to match demand, they are increasing or decreasing their demand for energy in line with available supply. Maintaining this balance between electricity supply and demand is vital to maintain UK power supplies. Dynamic Demand exploits the power of the internet and cheap costs of communication technology to access small amounts of stored energy in everyday processes in industry, business and households that once aggregated can act as a virtual power station for electricity system operators to call upon. Such stored energy exists in assets like commercial refrigeration, industrial heating, water pumping or large commercial office HVAC. Dynamic Demand responds to imbalances between supply and demand by ramping electrical appliances up or down within seconds, but ensures that end user processes are never compromised. The exciting part is that it exploits excess capacity in electrical assets already built and therefore is considerably cheaper than any other solution on the market. Collectively, the bitumen tanks are providing National Grid with around 4MW of Demand Response. This is 4MW of balancing services that National Grid does not have to procure from a power station, which helps to reduce UK CO2 emissions (by offering an alternative to carbon intensive delivery from power stations) and increase capacity in the system. As a result, this project is expected to cut UK CO2 emissions by


BP 10 October 2016
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