Home Forums General Discussion Hourly residential electricity and hot water use analysis


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    Jo Wills

    To follow is a question I have received from Chris Olson of Energyshare, some of you will be aware of Chris and the solar energy co-operative they are working to establish. If not, take a look at their website http://www.energyshare.co.nz/

    I said to Chris I would be able to provide him a better response by submitting the question on the Hub, is any one able to assist?

    Question: We’re looking at some heat pump technology that may help the Energyshare member financial benefit and I’m about to do some analysis on this. The idea is to look at using solar PV to assist running a Hot Water heat pump during the daylight hours for the heated water to be used during the evening. We were hoping that this might be sufficient to act as a load shifting device by using the hotwater cylinder as a battery while still gaining the efficiency benefits of a heat pump

    I was wondering if you had or could point me to any hourly residential electricity demand and hot water electricity use profile info that we could use in the analysis. I know of the HEEP data but not sure if there is other data available or is it possible to get this?

    Hamish Trolove

    This sounds like an interesting development and there is good logic in what they propose.

    A  little while ago we (EECA) supported Wintec in developing a device to accurately monitor household energy, temperatures, humidity, light levels, water flows.  The device they developed was able to measure electricity use and water use from at least five or six locations simultaneously as well as 80 or so locations for temperature, humidity, and light levels.  So a richness of data of the like that has never been done before.  Several of these systems were installed on the houses that were erected on their campus and used as student accommodation.  I am not sure what they have since done with this data, but if students are a moderately good approximation of the way normal people live and use hot water then it will be a dataset that should answer Chris’s question.

    Since then they have refined the design to be a nice and easily deployed kit (with slightly fewer sensors admittedly) which automatically reports to the web.  I am unsure how many of these they have installed.

    Anyway, I would suggest getting in touch with Wintec’s Research Office (research@wintec.ac.nz) if this is of interest.

    Scott Willis

    This is a question that Becky (Energy Cultures Team) can give a better response to than me (are you reading this Becky?). There is currently a small bit of research Becky is running out here in Blueskin that involves a number of residents all on one line from the transformer. Households were asked to monitor all appliance use in real time over two weeks (jugs, washing machines, TVs, hair dryers, etc) and each household’s appliance in each house was tested. This will, when analysis is complete, provide a rich picture of current real-time use in one localised part of the grid, and then that bit of the grid will be modelled to see the effect of installing solar panels. It is expected this research will reveal:

    What energy use habits can be usefully changed to best utilise solar PV at the household?
    What storage systems if any would be useful at the household?
    What storage and management systems could work for the energy neighbourhood?

    Three of those households are installing solar panels in the next few months, so the modelling will get tested and we’ll see what people actually do. I’d suggest getting in touch with Becky for this residential electricity demand information. It will be very interesting to see what Chris and Energyshare come up with.

    Ian McChesney

    It would be worth, I think, disaggregating any combined or average profile information into (at least) two distinct household hot water use patterns based on whether showers are predominantly in the morning or in the evening. It may (or may not) be material to the overall outcome, but rather a caution in assuming all households might conform to an average profile.

    Vicki Cowan

    Well I’m pretty sure the type of data you want is what Beacon have for the Waitakere and Rotorua NOW Homes – we have 10 second data for a host of energy uses throughout the houses, including hot water and I think 1 minute intervals of water use at a range of locations as well.  And the temperature and humidity data as well. That might be 10 second data, I can’t remember.

    Those households were families, so that might represent a more “normal” set than the student data


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