Tag: research

BMW Releases ChargeForward Report – Solar PV to V2G

 

The BMW Group is leading the charge of accessing and storing renewables on the grid through its innovative ChargeForward program. The pilot program is a collaboration between California-based utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center.

The aim: to use as much solar energy as possible while contributing to the overall stability of the electricity grid. This is made possible through the ChargeForward application that allows participants to input when they’ll use their vehicle. While the vehicle is parked, and at a charging station, this information allows the BMW charging control system to regulate the charging process; enabling the vehicle to charge during non-peak hours and when GHG emissions are the lowest.

Recently, the ChargeForward program finished the second phase of testing and released its report. The report highlighted many different findings that can help drive clean energy forward in the transportation sector, including:

  • Smart-charging EVs have the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 32% on average in Northern California studies.
  • Smart charging can enable EVs to accept an additional 1,200 kWh of renewable energy per vehicle per year. This is the equivalent of 3,500 to 5,000 miles of additional zero carbon travel.
  • Telematics data from automakers are a critical enabler of smart charging programs as it provides a holistic view of a driver’s mobility needs and helps facilitate daily charging during non-peak hours.
  • ChargeForward vehicles can create an average of $325 in estimated grid savings annually per vehicle in California.

Source: BMW Movement   Full Report

FLATLINE – a demand-side approach to energy management with Domestic Properties

FLATLINE, an industry led research project aiming to demonstrate the viability of a demand-side approach to energy management at domestic level, has reached a major milestone as residents move into three pilot homes at The Mill site in Cardiff.

Backed by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the ‘Fixed Level Affordable Tariffs Led by Intelligently Networked Energy’ (FLATLINE) project aims to significantly reduce residents’ energy bills, using a combination of domestic Demand Side Response and demand shifting for both heat and electricity.

The specially built pilot homes at The Mill development site in Cardiff will be closely followed by a further 46 homes at a separate site, Parc Eirin in Tonyrefail – which will see first residents move in this autumn as the first phase of the 225 new home scheme is complete.

See Press Release

And the Fully-Charged Video :-

METER – insights into the timing and flexibility of electricity usage

METER is a national research project to understand what we use electricity for. And anyone can take part.

meter

This study asks thousands of UK households to submit a one day record of their activities. During this day their electricity use is also measured minute by minute.

The combination of activity and electricity data can gives valuable insights into the timing and flexibility of electricity. METER data is intended to help with the development of new approaches to reduce demand at critical times, while avoiding inconvenience for users. METER will test different forms of incentives and interventions to establish an evidence base for load shifting against a statistically robust baseline.

This becomes especially important when trying to make better use of variable renewable sources of electricity. By identifying a load shifting potential of only 1kW (half the power of a washing machine) in 1% of UK households, the national cost saving could easily exceed a quarter of a billion pounds.

The scale of the project is made possible by the innovative use of smart phones.

Here is an example of my (Peter Bates) household’s energy usage on 21/22 September 2016. (Note we do have Solar PV and did not use the washing machine that day). You can clearly see the peak usage during the cooking of the evening meal.

meter-energy-usage-pjb

More information on the METER Project and take part in the research.

emeters

Get the latest METER Project newsletter Autumn 2016

Research finds that SuperHomes use 40% less energy

Detailed research into the energy use of SuperHomes reveals that, on average, they are using 40% less energy per square metre per year than the average UK home. SuperHomes are, therefore, much cheaper to run than their unrefurbished neighbours.

Chester SuperHome
Chester SuperHome. Whilst bills are similar to the owner’s previous home, that home was half the size!

The most energy efficient home in the study, whilst offering improved comfort, uses a staggering 86% less energy than the average home.

One of the participants in this research, Simon Brown, is no stranger to the benefits of retrofit. He says “After the first year, we were pleasantly surprised to find our total gas and electricity bill was slightly less than in our previous home, which was half the size.”

So, whilst low-carbon and low-energy don’t necessarily go hand in hand, this study confirms that SuperHomes excel in both respects.

The research report shows that an average SuperHome:

  • Is over 40% more energy-efficient than the average UK home in its energy use per square metre per year.
  • Consumes about 19% less total energy than the average UK home each year, despite having a larger than average floor area and a higher than average occupancy, and being older than an average house building.
  • Uses 104kWh of energy per square metre per year, compared with a national average of 177kWh/m2/yr.
  • Consumes a total of 14,722kWh of energy per annum, compared with an average household consumption of 18,100kWh.
  • Achieves an incredible average reduction of 72% in carbon emissions, based on comparisons between pre- and post-retrofit emissions

The most energy-efficient SuperHome in the survey (refurbished to the exacting Passivhaus standard) was found to use just 25kWh/m2/yr, an impressive 86% less than the national average.

Gabby Mallett, Director of SuperHomes and Households and Communities at the National Energy Foundation, commented:

“Many people assume that a low-carbon home is also a low-energy one. However, this is not necessarily the case … it’s fantastic to discover that many SuperHomes have not only gone much further than a 60% carbon reduction, but they’ve achieved great results on energy too.”

SuperHomes are older homes refurbished by their owners to deliver a carbon saving of at least 60%. The owners host free open days in September to share the benefits and the challenges of home refurbishment.

Researchers at the National Energy Foundation (NEF) calculated the energy and carbon figures for a representative sample of the existing 205 SuperHomes, by per person per year, and by per square metre of floor space per year. Using the 2012 National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework (NEED) sample, NEF was able to make comparisons between an average SuperHome and the average UK home with the same number of occupants or of the same size.

Read the Energy Efficiency Benchmarks for SuperHomes Report

Draughts in homes – a big hidden issue

Some interesting research has been done by Sustainable Homes on draughts in homes. It focuses on the effects that draughts have on the perception of wintertime comfort.

Cold draughts can have detrimental effects on health and can be fatal for elderly occupants. Building regulations require that new homes are built to demanding insulation requirements using the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), and pressure-tested to demonstrate air-tightness – but even so, some new homes are still considered draughty by their occupants.

Full details