Electrical concepts for homes

Energy concepts at the level of the individual dwelling focus predominantly on the building’s heating requirements, with very few, if any, such concepts available for electrical demand. For simplicity’s sake, it is often assumed that enough electricity can always be taken from or fed back into the grid, using the storage and distribution capacity of that grid.

The envisaged result of this project is a survey of new electrical energy concepts for dwellings in which electrical demand for and/or grid load are reduced. “Concepts” is taken to mean both a coherent package of technologies and a theoretical description thereof.

By reducing the electrical demand of individual dwellings it becomes progressively easier to meet that demand in full using new technologies like photovoltaic solar cells (PV), small-scale wind turbines and ‘home power plants’ (micro-heat and power generation), as this means the systems adopted can be made smaller and thus cheaper.

A first-pass review indicates there are presently only a few concrete, mature concepts available in the marketplace. What we see are a number of demonstration projects and pilot schemes, together with a series of technologies in various phases of market introduction that can serve as building blocks for a concept. To “join up the dots” between these demonstration projects and pilots, in this report four key concepts of a more theoretical nature are described, rooted in different conceptions of a dwelling’s function in the power grid.

The demonstration projects and technologies identified have been incorporated into these key concepts and then further elaborated with respect to marketing phase, level of application and benefits for the power supply.

Although the report focuses on dwellings, the results are also valid for shops and other small businesses and for combinations of these with private dwellings.   

The report will be of interest to developers, construction firms, home contractors, housing corporations, energy companies, grid operators and government policy-makers.

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