UK Living Lab

Living Lab homes to trial automated heat and energy controls app

Technology developed by startup group Equiwatt will initially be employed in 50 thomes to look at the potential for automating the controls of heat pumps and thermostats using smart metre data

The Energy Systems Catapult will trial a new app intended to automate the controls of thermostats and heat pumps as part of its ‘Living Lab’ project.

50 properties connected up to the Living Lab network will make use of the technology developed by startup Equiwatt to conduct research into how energy required for heating can be reduced during peak demand times.

The energy systems Catapult says the app has a number of free automation functions designed to encourage energy saving behaviours linked to the use of low carbon heat, EV charging and smart plug controls.

The trials will make use of smart meter data in order to monitor energy use in the trial homes and automatically manage how appliances function at times where supplies are at their most expensive or being sourced from non-renewable sources.

Among the focuses of the project will be so-called ‘smart heating’ solutions that will be closely monitored over the course of the trial, according to the Energy Systems Catapult.

Qualitive research will be conducted by the Energy Systems Catapult team to look at user attitudes to the effectiveness of using the Equiwatt app to manage heating needs and determining when systems may need to be adjusted or turned off at certain points.  This will include deciding if the households using the technology would continue to use an automated controls solution such as the app outside of the testing project.

Becky Sweeney, business leader for homes with the Energy Systems Catapult said the partnership with Equiwatt builds on work to include the start up on its Energy Launchpad programme that is intended to help provide finance and support for innovative companies and technologies.

She said; “The next step in their journey is to better understand how consumers respond to the app and play their part in meeting the challenges of the energy transition. By making use of our Living Lab capability, Equiwatt will have an opportunity to see first-hand how the behaviour of consumers impacts their energy management choices in a real-world environment”.

Equiwatt chief executive said the group had been working with the Energy Systems Catapult since 2019 and was excited to be involved in the Living lab project.

He said; “The trial will provide us with invaluable consumer insights as we bring new features to the app and help us evaluate our market approach and solution in a closed environment to further enhance the end user experience.  It will also contribute to accelerating our work in helping create a more flexible and efficient UK energy system for all.”

“We believe our app can help millions of people across the UK reduce their energy bills and support the transition to a net zero world and this trial has an important role to play in making this a reality.”

Living Lab trials

It was announced earlier this year that the Living Lab would be extended to 2,000 homes across the UK as a means to help trial low carbon technologies and innovations in real world environments.

The Energy Systems Catapult says the concept brings together a mix of different types of housing across the UK.  These homes are connected via a digital integration platform that allows for the sharing of data and performance information from these individual properties.

Around 100 households volunteered to take part in the Living Lab project when it was first launched in 2017.

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Living Lab project expanded to over 2,000 homes

Project linking up thousands of United kingdom houses with a electronic integration platform is being applied to take a look at new lower carbon systems and organization techniques in a real globe atmosphere

Additional than 2,000 houses have now been related to the United kingdom Residing Lab challenge that aims to supply serious planet screening of future technology constructing controls and low carbon heat methods.

The thought, which has been formulated by the Vitality Methods Catapult innovation agency, provides alongside one another a blend of unique types of housing across the Uk.  These residences are linked by means of a digital integration platform that makes it possible for for the sharing of information and effectiveness facts from these person houses.

All over 100 households volunteered to get component in the Living Lab job when it was initially launched in 2017. Considering the fact that then, the amount of volunteer households greater to over 1,000 as of Could last yr.

The intention of the Dwelling Lab job is to introduce a variety of different technologies and services into these residences to seem at their performance in distinctive buildings.

Power Units Catapult claimed that the volunteers’ residences include buildings these as flats and mid-terrace residences. It extra that around 1,358 residences had been digitally connected to the task in England, with a additional 549 homes in Scotland also taking part.

The Dwelling Lab is made up of 110 qualities in Wales and 22 homes in Northern Ireland.

There houses have been utilised to check a vary of diverse methods with the intention to minimize both energy need and carbon emissions from developing functions this sort of as heating.  The Dwelling Lab can also be made use of to examination new company approaches and designs that can then possibly be rolled out nationwide.

Among the the technologies to be involved in screening as component of the task is a thermal storage method produced by Sunamp.  The manufacturer programs to use a £9.25 million fund awarded by the Office for Power Safety and Net Zero to run trials via Dwelling Lab properties across the Uk. The Living Lab will be linked to Sunamp’s Entire Strength Systems Accelerator (WESA) facility, exactly where checks will be operate on its heat battery know-how to keep an eye on how it interacts with the wider electrical power network, working with actual-time information on home conduct.

The WESA examination and evaluation facility combines the use of the Residing Lab and PNDC’s electrical power networks demonstration facility. It enables interactions in between residences, strength networks, and sector & coverage frameworks to be analyzed in actual-time and throughout a variety of likely foreseeable future electricity system and industry scenarios.

Far more recently, Uk Energy Networks – as section of its Neighbourhood Environmentally friendly Challenge – utilised Sunamp’s WESA system to observe strength employed by residences with very low carbon heating systems these as heat pumps and panel heaters. Engineers in contrast genuine-everyday living facts from 60 Dwelling Lab houses with a model of a ‘one in 20’ freezing winter season. Uk Power Networks suggests it will use the perception delivered to assist system its response to need much more efficiently.

A variety of other cleantech companies have applied the Residing Lab to demo their innovations.

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