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Load response systems

Load response systems23-01-2014 15:25
OK, not the most inspiring title to this post!

But I have been wondering for some time why these systems have not made inroads into the domestic mass-market.

Load response devices are small controllers fitted to devices such as domestic fridge freezers. When the frequency of the electricity supply dips (indicating surges in demand) these devices temporarily switch off the appliance. This potentially allows a reduction in the 1.5GW of spinning reserve which must be responsible for millions of tonnes of emissions.

The UK National Grid pays millions of pounds each year to large energy consumers (eg furnaces, water treatment works) under an agreement whereby they will reduce power consumption at peak times. But would millions of domestic controllers be a cheaper way of achieving the same thing?

Apparently one manufacturer was introducing something similar in the UK:

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