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Dynamic demand control is a technology that can
be incorporated into electrical appliances and light industrial plant which enables
them to provide important services to the power grid such
as peak load management and second-to-second balancing of
supply and demand.
Any electrical device that is time-flexible
(in other words, is not too sensitive to when its energy is delivered)
could be used. These could include industrial or commercial air
conditioners, water heaters and refrigeration. Thousands (and eventually
millions) of such loads acting in aggregation to could provide
an extremely simple and cost-effective way of helping to manage
the power grid. To date, Dynamic Demand has focused its attention
on the potential for such services in relation to domestic and industrial
Research is becoming available which indicates
that an aggregation of such 'intelligent' loads could be extremely
beneficial, for example, by smoothing out the minute-to-minute
and hourly variations in demand on the grid. This would replace
certain types of back-up generation and hence increase efficiency.
In future, the technology could be used to smooth the supply from
renewable power. This could theoretically allow a greater amount
of renewables to be connected.
If dynamic demand control is successful, the benefits
could be considerable:
- A more efficient power grid.
- A more stable power grid.
- The creation of new sustainable businesses.
- Significantly reduced carbon-dioxide emissions
from power generation.
- Removal of some of the barriers to a higher
proportion of renewable energy.
- A reduction in the cost of renewable energy.
See a 60-second explanation here.
Large numbers of appliances operating under dynamic
demand control could also prevent power blackouts. Such appliances
could also provide "black-start recovery", which
means helping the system to recover after serious power outages.