This paper evaluates how distributed smart storage can bring energy flexibility in a community by reducing average peak load and increasing self-consumption of local solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity at an individual household and aggregated community level, as part of a new community energy research project in a socially-deprived community in south-east England. The research study brings together solar PV power and (behind the meter) smart energy storage across a cluster of 82 households and community centre to create a virtual localised energy grid within the existing infrastructure. The batteries are linked to solar PV in each house, and also have internet connections allowing them to be virtually coupled, so as to ensure that the maximum amount of solar generated electricity is used within the community. The methodological approach of the evaluation comprises dwelling surveys, energy audits, householder interviews, monitoring and evaluation of high frequency household electricity consumption, PV generation, battery charge and discharge data. Householder feedback
shows that even in a socially disadvantaged community, as well as being anxious over rising energy bills, householders are still concerned about climate change and the future of energy supplies. In the monitored households, average daily electricity consumption ranges from 2.9 kWh to 21.7 kWh, and is found to be positively related with dwelling size, number of occupants and number of appliances used. Although 155 MWh of solar PV electricity has been generated within a year across 47 households, electricity consumption and generation profiles show that in most households, generation exceeds consumption, but peak generation does not match peak consumption. Analysis of the contribution of smart battery show that selfconsumption of PV electricity has increased by 6 % and 12 % in the summer and winter periods respectively. The study seeks to demonstrate the case for a cluster of buildings comprising decentralised renewable generation and smart storage that empower communities to achieve energy flexibility.
Bruce-Konuah, AdorkorGupta, Rajat
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Architecture
Year of publication: 2017Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-06-12
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