A few details
In 2012 a new apartment complex Couperus – situated in the Ypenburg district of The Hague – with 300 apartments has been outfitted with heat-pumps. All homes have a heat pump which is controlled by the PowerMatcher™. This software system ensures (coordinates) that supply and demand of electricity are optimally aligned, resulting in less peak loads on the grid and a more balanced system. This means fewer grid upgrades will be needed in the future and the system will be more stable.
With Couperus we wanted to create energy flexibility without detracting from the residents’ comfort or influencing their behaviour. The comfort of the residents was key. The acceptable deviation is approximately 0.8 degrees. This means that if a resident wants a temperature of 19 degrees, then the heat pump will be activated if it falls below 18.6 or rises above 19.4 degrees. Our tests showed that we can postpone activation of a heat pump by 6 to 8 hours by allowing this temperature range. This extra leeway is extremely useful to both system operators and energy providers.
System operators try to limit peak loads as much as possible to prevent overloading the grid. For example, boilers are heated at night to profit from the low rate, resulting in a night-time peak. Now, instead of activating all heat pumps at 10.00 p.m., the PowerMatcher can distribute the load between 11.00 p.m. and 7.00 a.m., the period that the night rate applies.” This provides opportunities for energy providers, who are faced with an imbalance between energy demand and supply due to the growth of local energy generation. “When the supply of wind power is limited, the PowerMatcher can delay activation of the heat pump.Or in reverse: if a lot of wind power is available, then the heat pump can be turned on earlier. Energy providers can really benefit from this.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (www.rvo/nl) published an article on this project, download the factsheet (English), published by