Baxi Heating is pleased to be part of the USER project, a consortium that includes Levelise, Ecuity Consulting, Energy Systems Catapult and Durham University.
With backing from The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) the project is testing innovative technology which uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 350 homes that have a hot water cylinder to help balance the electricity grid every time the householder turns on the hot tap or takes a shower.
This turns traditional hot water cylinders into grid-interactive water heaters that are context aware. They coordinate their operation in real time by switching on their immersion heating elements according to what is most beneficial for each dwelling, taking into account wholesale prices whilst also supporting the grid.
There are around nine million hot water cylinders in the UK and the USER Project seeks to tap into the combined thermal storage capacity hidden in homes. At almost 100GWh, this capacity is equivalent to six million Tesla Powerwall units. This potential is particularly important as we transition away from high carbon fossil fuels and towards low-carbon power generation such as wind which is intermittent in nature. Homes participating in the USER trial will demonstrate the role that the typical household can play in the clean energy transition, without having to change their own behaviour.
The USER Project is unique in the sense that it is compatible with almost any hot water cylinders with an immersion heater and Baxi Heating is using its Megaflo Eco cylinders in the trial.