Baxi Heating is part of the USER project, which is testing whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 350 homes can help them use electricity to heat water when electricity demand elsewhere is low.
Working with Durham University and three other companies, this project turns traditional hot water cylinders into energy buffers that use electricity at times when plenty is available. They coordinate their operation in real time by switching on their immersion heating when is most beneficial for each dwelling, taking into account wholesale electricity prices whilst also supporting the grid
This project 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 electricity 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.
Find out more about the USER trial