What? We can build Demand Response into efficient products?
Earlier this summer, I hosted a webinar on how Smart Lighting can help a utility do more than save energy – it can target its Energy Efficiency to times of high stress on the grid. In part 2 of this blog series, I covered the communication technology that automates Demand Response participation. Today’s post will review the various types of customer loads that can integrate EE with DR.
Lighting: For lighting loads, there are two primary ways to integrate EE and DR. The first is through the installation of a Smart Lighting System. So called, ‘Smart Lighting’, can be extremely energy efficient and we have case studies that show Smart Lighting retrofits have cut baseline lighting loads by 99%! A Smart Lighting Solution can also be programmed to lower demand and automatically respond to a utility demand response signal. I will get more in depth with my next post, which covers why and how these devices can automatically curtail energy loads.
For buildings that have an existing lighting dimming panel, a gateway can be added to provide the autonomous load shed. The gateway creates connectivity between the existing device and the system operators signal, allowing the device to respond to a predetermined routine, autonomously. The demand and energy savings occur by retro commissioning the existing panel. Legacy lighting panels, and the schedules programed into them, are infrequently updated. Adding gateways and retro commissioning existing lighting panels represent one new pathway for programs to claim additional lighting savings in the retrofit segment.
HVAC: Like existing lighting panels, legacy Building Management Systems (BMS) represent another pathway for integrating EE and DR. A universal gateway can be added to the BMS to automate the load shed, and a retro commissioning process determines the load curtailment and makes the entire system more efficient.
Smart Thermostats are the ‘go-to’ product for integrated EE/DR. These devices are well known by the public, and a program can run a Smart Thermostat offering as a Direct Install ‘DI’ offering or a Bring Your Own Device ‘BYOD’ –. Smart Thermostats have a lot of potential to add flexibility to the grid.
Plug Loads: While Smart Thermostats are grabbing the headlines, plug loads represent an excellent undiscovered opportunity for integrating EE and DR. Vampire loads represent a hidden opportunity for energy efficiency, and can be curtailed by Smart Power Strips. These strips can also respond to DR signals to stop power flow. Image a laptop plugged into a smart strip – power from the smart strip can be curtailed during an energy event and the laptop can switch to its battery backup.
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