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Control Large Numbers of Small Thermostatically Controlled Loads (TCLs)

Technology:

Background: Load management also known as demand side management allows utilities to reduce demand for electricity during peak usage times through activities or programs that promote electric energy efficiency or conservation or more efficient management of electric energy loads. This not only reduces costs for the utilities and the consumers but can also help reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses. Often times however load management initiatives negatively impact the consumers’ comfort and convenience. With the advent of more renewable energy sources the need for intermittent power regulation increases. In the United States peaking power plants are needed to supply energy during peak power consumption times. Thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs) represent about 20% of the total electricity consumption in the United States. There is a present market need for greater efficiencies in energy management that are convenient and provide unaltered comfort to consumers. Technology Description: University of New Mexico researchers have developed a system and method for integrating distributed energy resources on a power distribution feeder. This invention is comprised of two or more distributed energy sources (one of which being a renewable energy source) a control device a power distribution feeder and an energy storage system. Each of these energy sources can be integrated to perform various functions. One of these functions is to control multiple thermostatically controlled loads (TCLs) adjusting power levels on a power distribution feeder to contrast intermittent renewable energy generation. Furthermore active thermal energy storage can shift loads to off-peak periods and also save energy on-site and at the plant. In addition this system is capable of sending a probability signal to a control center that result in a number of TCLs to switch their operation (i.e. either turn on or off). The users of the energy resources are unaware any change is taking place and they are able to maintain unaltered comfort. Applications: 1) Distributed energy resources 2) Battery energy storage systems 3) Micro-grids 4) Solar energy resources

Benefits:

1) Cost savings to utility and consumers 2) Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions 3) Ability to incorporate renewable energy power sources 4) Better renewable power integration into current systems 5) Optimization services can incorporate this system by altering the characteristics of the storage devices 6) Capacity of systems to maintain unaltered comfort is not compromised by the switching control

Date of release: