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Micro DE - Analysis of the Benefits of Buildings Energy Services Control System

Citation Lander, D., Patterson, M., Preston-Barnes, H. and Iles, P. Micro DE - Analysis of the Benefits of Buildings Energy Services Control System, ETI, 2011. https://doi.org/10.5286/UKERC.EDC.000287.
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Author(s) Lander, D., Patterson, M., Preston-Barnes, H. and Iles, P.
Project partner(s) Electricité de France SA (EDF SA)} Building Research Establishment Limited} University College London} Passivsystems Ltd
Publisher ETI
DOI https://doi.org/10.5286/UKERC.EDC.000287
Download DE_DE2003_10.pdf document type
Abstract The Micro DE project was a scoping and feasibility study to identify opportunities for micro-generation storage and control technology development at an individual dwelling level in the UK. The study investigated the potential for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions through Distributed Energy (DE) technologies. This was achieved through the development of a segmented model of the UK housing stock supplemented with detailed, real-time supply and demand energy-usage gathered from field trials of micro distributed generation and storage technology in conjunction with building control systems. The outputs of this project now feed into the Smart Systems and Heat programme.

This deliverable is number 3 of 7 in Work Package 3. The report builds on earlier work from within the project to assess the role which Building Energy Management Systems can play in conjunction with micro DE technologies and energy storage to reduce energy consumption in the UK. The report draws a number of conclusions and makes recommendations regarding the development of intuitive controls / displays and standards

The report deals specifically with the potential contribution of building Energy Services Management (ESM) systems in the residential setting. Features of existing conventional and more advanced control systems were examined, through analysis of outputs from earlier phases of this project (factsheets, workshops, user feedback from field trials, etc.).

Four key themes were identified that highlight key failings of the current approach to control of energy use within the home:
  • demonstrating benefit is not easy;
  • government incentives take no account of the possible impact of advanced control systems;
  • greater account of human factor is required;
  • and future designs need to address integration of a host of appliances, devices and micro DE technology.
Drivers for change in existing approaches were examined to establish future needs. The supply and management of energy within the household is likely to become increasingly complex in the coming decades:
  • schemes are being introduced to encourage building envelope refurbishment to improve insulation and reduce energy needs;
  • building owners are installing technologies such as solar thermal, micro-CHP boiler replacements, heat pumps and solar PV panels;
  • greater use is being made of energy storage, in the form of thermal mass (both hot and cold) and in batteries, either to exploit time-of-use energy pricing or to match supply and demand efficiently;
  • a programme of installation of smart metering for gas, electricity and distributed heat is underway;
  • new loads on the distribution system will appear as electric vehicles and air conditioning become more prevalent;
  • appliances for lighting, entertainment, etc., continue to evolve.
This additional complexity adds problems to the user interface. For instance, with some control systems associated with micro DE technology, homeowners report difficulty in optimising performance or having to adapt behaviour to suit the technology. Typically, because of mismatch between output and demand profiles, around 43% of electricity generated from solar PV systems is fed back into the grid and not used within the home. For wind and micro-CHP the proportion is even higher at 49% and 45%, respectively.
Associated Project(s) ETI-DE2003: Micro Distributed Energy
Associated Dataset(s) No associated datasets
Associated Publication(s)

Micro DE - Distributed Energy Monitoring System Requirements

Micro DE - Executive Summary - DE2003/D3.5: Modelling the Cost Effectiveness and Hence Potential Uptake of Technologies

Micro DE - Executive Summary - DE2003/D3.7: Project Summary Report

Micro DE - Findings From Field Trial Occupant Interviews

Micro DE - Heat Meter Investigation

Micro DE - Micro DE Technology Comparisons

Micro DE - Micro Distributed Energy and Energy Services Management Application to existing UK residential buildings

Micro DE - Modelling the Cost Effectiveness and Potential Uptake of Technologies in Existing UK Residential Buildings

Micro DE - Plan for Larger Field Trials

Micro DE - Project Summary Report

Micro DE - Review of Previous Work on Energy User Behaviour

Micro DE - Review of in Market Buildings Control Systems, Technology Platforms and Standards