Network September 2019

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 39

KENSA CONTRACTING times of day. Modelling has shown savings of 25-40 per cent are possible. Better still, lower priced times of day typically coincide with lower carbon grid electricity - this is because wind, nuclear and solar provide a lot of the baseline while higher carbon sources of electricity are deployed when the grid needs boosting. Q As an SME, what are some of the main chal- lenges you face when it comes to engaging with the wider sector and the regulator? A Putting together an ap- plication for funding is very time consuming as is the management of the project and extra record keeping required for claims. It can be a challenge for SMEs to secure both match funding and also the extra resource required to manage projects. Q How smart is the smart revolution going to be? A If done correctly, the smart revolution could be the essential key to a lower carbon future. The grid has always been a challenge to manage given the large swings in demand but when you fold in variable and uncontrollable generation such as wind, solar, wave and tidal then the challenge magnifies. The traditional solution would be to build many more gen - erators (wind turbines/solar) to over-produce and then turn off when not needed. However, if properly synchronised, smart control of millions of devices such as ground source heat pumps, EVs and many others will allow the grid to function correctly without the need for over generation. This could save billions of pounds of capital investment. Q Why do UK utilities need to evolve? A Traditionally, consum- ers just consumed when they wanted to and it was up to the utilities to manage their purchasing and distribution to meet that demand. In the future, there will be a much closer part - nership between generators and consumers to match generation and demand. Utilities are best placed to manage this relation - ship but business models and practices will have to change radically to facilitate this. If they don't, there is a risk that this partnership between generation and consumption will happen directly - bypassing the utilities altogether. Q Can regulation be a barrier to innovation? A Yes, limits to the number and type of tariffs that utilities can provide can prevent innovation. Q What are the biggest disruptors facing utili- ties? A The very likely shi' away from gas and move towards the electrification of heat via heat pumps. There are challeng - es to grid infrastructure on the electrical side and to the busi- ness models for gas suppliers. Meeting demand This section features regular interviews with small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to highlight the work they're doing with networks and the types of technologies that are driving innovation forward. This month, Dr Matthew Trewhella - managing director of Kensa Contracting – is the focus. GET IN TOUCH If you're interested in being featured in the Supplier Side section, or know of someone who might be, please get in touch with the editor at "The grid has always been a challenge to manage given the large swings in demand but when you fold in variable and uncontrollable generation such as wind, solar, wave and tidal then the challenge magnifies." l Kensa Contracting is the UK's specialist delivery partner for large-scale 5th generation ground source heat pump programmes in domestic properties. Q What is the best way to try innovations on a huge customer base/na- tional operation? A Many customers are willing to allow good partners to try innovation but not many are willing to pay others to in- novate. It is important then to get the overall funding package right. If you have a product or service that might benefit one of your customer's long term and can supply this to them at the same or lower cost than the tra - ditional offer then many people and organisations are willing to participate. Q What cutting-edge technologies are you most excited about? A Controlling ground source heat pumps remotely to produce lower bills and lower carbon intensity while still maintaining comfortably warm homes. Ground source heat pumps are an electrically driven device and this prospect is be - ing enabled by the convergence of two technologies - smart metering and smart thermostats. The smart metering has given rise to the ability to charge consumers different prices for their electricity at different times of day which reflects the reality of the wholesale electric - ity market. Smart thermostats allow property needs data (temperature, humidity, comfort levels) to be exported to remote servers where the heating controls can then be optimised and new schedules sent back to the thermostat. By linking the heating control server with the electricity price server, the revised heating schedule can move heat pump operation from high priced to low priced NETWORK / 38 / SEPTEMBER 2019

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Network - Network September 2019