PNNL Researchers Apply "Smarts" to Grid Through Water Heater Device

PNNL Researchers Apply "Smarts" to Grid Through Water Heater Device

DConT2

Technology developers are getting "smarter" about applying their grid know-how to promote greater grid stability and potentially reducing costs to consumers without sacrificing convenience.

At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, researchers have developed the Grid Friendly™ Water Heater controller, a device that provides smart grid services from existing, installed electric water heaters. Additionally, as part of a demand response smart grid program, the controller can shift the power demand for heating hot water to non-peak power demand periods or to relieve the electric grid during emergencies.

This smart device hosts the Grid Friendly™ Appliance chip (also developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) and provides the load-management capabilities of that chip to household water heaters. The device eliminates the need for a separate, external control box; in fact, this technology is simply retrofittable on current models of water heaters in about 5 minutes using only a screwdriver. The autonomous benefits begin accruing immediately without significantly impacting the availability of hot water. If the device is connected to a home energy management system or other communicating system, it can also participate in available demand-response programs.

For more information: http://availabletechnologies.pnl.gov/technology.asp?id=287 or contact Peter Christensen, peter.christensen@pnl.gov, or 509-371-6159

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