The RealValue consortium, led by Glen Dimplex and consisting of 13 Pan-European companies, revealed details on how the RealValue research and innovation project, consisting of 1,250 homes in Ireland, Germany and Latvia, has the potential to revolutionise how consumers use and store energy via their homes.
A €15.5m European energy storage project, funded by Horizon 2020, RealValue has been designed to accelerate innovation and develop business models necessary for use of small-scale energy storage in residential homes.
Crucial to the success of the RealValue consortium is the involvement of all 13 partners who represent the entire energy supply chain – including ESB Networks, EirGrid, Glen Dimplex, SSE Airtricity, Intel and the Electricity Research Centre at University College Dublin – who will collectively deliver a 36-month large scale pilot study, across five EU member states.
“It is this collective effort to further push the boundaries in renewable technology that has the potential for RealValue to be a real game changer. By involving the entire energy supply chain, RealValue will produce a robust study that will be instrumental in developing business models that quantify the potential of small-scale storage moving forward.
“RealValue will help to shape ground-breaking new ways for consumers to store and use renewable energy in their homes, via their heating system, and for energy companies to realise Demand Side Management,” explains RealValue Business Director, Rowena McCappin.
At the launch, held in Croke Park and attended by renewables experts and consortium partners, it was also announced that around 200 Irish homes have already been installed with Glen Dimplex Quantum storage heaters and Quantum cylinders.
In total, 800 Quantum energy systems (Smart Electric Thermal Storage Systems – SETS) will be installed in Ireland, with 400 homes identified in Germany and the remaining 50 homes and small businesses being recruited in Latvia.
The Quantum energy system combines efficient, high-performance electric space and water heating with thermal energy storage capability. It’s the development of residential energy storage that could transform how consumers store, consume and are paid for renewable energy in the future.
Sean O’Driscoll, Chairman and Chief Executive, Glen Dimplex, explained the company’s involvement in RealValue and how Glen Dimplex has built a low carbon business worth €50m by investing in R&D, manufacturing and commercial activities.
“The Glen Dimplex Group has invested heavily in ‘demand side management’ technologies in the last five years, including the development of Quantum, our biggest-ever investment in one piece of technology.
“To address the energy challenges faced by global society in the 21st century, we must work together with utility and technology partners, creating strategic alliances, to fast-track innovation. RealValue presents us with an opportunity, through these physical demonstrations in Ireland, Germany and Latvia, to generate results that will inform the energy landscape of the future. We intend to present the results of the project to policy decision makers, helping to inform EU regulation,” comments Mr O’Driscoll.
Since launching the Quantum System in 2012 Glen Dimplex has achieved sales of more than 40m Euro and the business is growing every month. 5m Euro has been invested in RealValue in addition to the H2020 funding as the company strives to spread its low carbon, energy efficiency benefits to other markets.
Linking the Quantum systems to energy providers, Intel has developed a highly-advanced technology. The smart system will also interpret data to forecast heat demand and consumer comfort preferences, and it will interact with the grid to manage supply and congestion.
From the RealValue consortium, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director Energy Institute, University College Dublin, Professor Mark O’Malley comments;
“RealValue is an excellent example of a collaboration between Academia and Industry across Europe to deliver on the Integrated Energy System at the core of the SET Plan. The UCD Energy Institute and Electricity Research Centre are delighted to be a partner in this ground breaking Project and to bring its expertise in power system modelling to the Consortium.”
Partners in the consortium working to validate the model at large scale are the Electricity Research Centre at University College Dublin, DIW (the German institute for economic research), the University of Oxford and VTT, one of Europe’s largest energy research centres.
RealValue will run for 36 months and it is anticipated that the resulting benefits will include cost savings, reduction of CO2 emissions and improvements in the flexibility and reliability of power systems across the globe.