Unexpected benefits - Load smoothing?
Written by Administrator
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:00
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I have come to realise that the proposition is not so much about solar home systems, but about battery connected cooking. Even in the original note I thought that the subsystem of battery/controller/cooking hob might have application in slums – where poor connections may not be happy having 1kW drawn through them, but a trickle charge of a battery during a day could give the household something to cook on in the night. I now realise that there may actually be a market even in regular (non poor) households in some countries.


Load smoothing. Most readers of this sort of blog will know the stories of the World Cup Football match or some other event. At half time, everyone goes to the kitchen to make a cup of tea (I am British so I think in terms of tea not coffee), and there is a massive surge or peak on the grid. When 10 million households in Britain all put the kettle on at once, even the most sophisticated of grids struggles.

A similar but smaller effect must occur if a significant proportion of people on a weak grid had cookers and all wanted to cook at roughly the same time. You couldn't encourage electric (zero smoke particulates) cooking if the anticipated peak load meant that everyone experienced load shedding just as they were trying to cook their meal. The graph must look like this.

BUT, imagine now everyone having the battery/controller/cooking hob combination. Batteries could be charged throughout the day, and the draw on the grid could be spread through out the 24 hours. Indeed one might even imagine, given our new business models where consumer devices have sim cards and offer up data and can be controlled from afar; one could imagine zoning the charging to match the grid power availability. M2M signals could ensure that although everyone got their batteries charged every 24 hours, actually some were charging in middle of night and some during the day.

Load smoothing – this is another element in the jigsaw puzzle that needs some research – could device level control utilise existing grids more effectively and would th cost of decentralised battery storage be worthwhile?

Last Updated on Friday, 03 January 2014 14:26