Heat battery specialists Caldera have just completed an Innovate UK funded project to enable remote monitoring and control of their pioneering WarmstoneTM heat battery.
Caldera’s heat battery allows customers to store large amounts of heat using low-cost off-peak green electricity, which can then be used later on demand.
“Many people will be aware that wholesale energy prices fluctuate throughout the day – depending on demand and what is a being generated at any given time,” explains Caldera CEO James Macnaghten.
“In the UK, this market is becoming more and more sophisticated – moving away from cheap night tariffs to a more volatile weather-based pattern where low prices are driven by a combination of wind, solar and low demand.
“With our heat battery – we can take advantage of this market by only charging the battery when prices are low. At the moment most people would choose a simple night-time tariff,” Macnaghten says.
In this project – funded through Innovate UK’s Capability and Innovation Fund – Caldera developed a remote communication controller, allowing interactions between a third-party software company and the Caldera Warmstone heat battery.
“This project has shown we can use current and historic data on electricity usage, heat usage and local weather to optimise charging times for the lowest prices and/or the lowest carbon, while ensuring there is always sufficient stored heat for the consumer,” Macnaghten says.
“This is great for the homeowner – because it means we can use intelligent software to charge their batteries at the optimum time, without them having to think about it.
“But it can also work well for energy suppliers. If, as we hope, there are thousand of these batteries installed country-wide they can act as intelligent, fast-acting, virtual giga-batteries to soak up excess generation,” Macnaghten concludes.