The humble immersion heater is being reinvented as an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled smart grid technology, as part of a cutting edge trial that was unveiled this week. A consortium of leading clean tech companies yesterday confirmed the USER Project has begun installing an AI system as part of a real world trial to deliver “smart hot water” that can help to balance supply and demand on the grid. Government funding is supporting the project, which will see the system used to optimise a virtual community of 350 homes across the country. The project aims to transform traditional hot water cylinders into “grid-interactive water heaters” that coordinate their operation in real time by switching on immersion heating elements according to what is most beneficial for each home, taking into account wholesale prices and the level of supply and demand on the grid. The demonstration project is being undertaken with input from AI developer Levelise, heating specialist Baxi Heating, Ecuity Consulting, Heatrae Sadia, Energy Systems Catapult, and Durham University.
Business Green 25th March 2020 read more »