Informed Demand-Side Load Management

Residential electricity consumption in New Zealand accounts for approximately one-third of the total demand. This demand is uneven throughout the day, with significant differences between daily peaks and troughs. More sensible management of this demand, through a combination of real-time information to consumers, real-time pricing incentives, and smart appliances able to exploit these, has the potential to lead to a smoothing of the residential peak – a peak load/demand reduction – with impact on both required generation and network distribution capacities, as well as enhancing the ability to match load to supply, so improving the integration of non-dispatchable generation. Work on this project can be broadly divided into to key areas – simulation and modelling, and monitoring and information sharing:

  • A simulation of a typical household’s pattern of electricity consumption is being developed, with detail down to individual appliance level. This will be used to generate simulations of streets, neighbourhoods, towns, cities, regions and the entire country, in order to explore the effect or impact of different demand-side energy management strategies, both at the individual household and aggregate level. In order to produce such a simulation, real smart-meter data is being examined to develop a parameterised household model, so that individual household instances can be generated according to a variety of parameters such as adult/children numbers, geographic location, socio-economic grouping, numbers at home or at work during the day, etc.
  • In order to implement demand-side management techniques, another aspect of the project is to explore household monitoring and control technology, down to individual appliance level. This includes facilities to measure power consumption and anticipated load, to convey this information to the household (visualisation), and to provide means for controlling that demand or load either algorithmically or manually.