Demand side response (DSR) may spread to residential households if a new hybrid heating system catches on. Interim results published in April from the Freedom Project in the UK, a pound5.2m ($7.3 million) innovation project designed to trial hybrid heating systems, suggests automated switching between gas and electricity may deliver flexible DSR in a domestic setting.
At present, DSR is largely restricted to large electricity consumers, such as industrial users, which have interruptible contracts. An extension of DSR into residential homes could massively extend the DSR resource, potentially reducing the need for investment in additional generating capacity and grid reinforcement.
The UK's residential sector accounts for about 100 TWh/year of electricity, just under a third of the total, while gas-fired generation provided 42.4% of electricity generated in the UK in 2016, according to government statistics.
The system combines efficient gas boilers with external air source heat pumps, allowing automated switching between gas and power loads to meet consumer demand for heat. The flexible approach is designed to allow consumers to participate in DSR programs.
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