DINO – Future-proofing Constrained Local Energy Networks

DINO – Future-proofing Constrained Local Energy Networks

As COP27 gets underway, the spotlight will fall on progress linked to renewables, smart grids, energy efficiency and energy storage. At Energy Assets, we’re working with a range of partners on innovations that can enhance local electricity network resilience and capacity, while supporting the integration of renewables in newbuild housing developments.

DINO – Future-proofing Constrained Local Energy Networks

We’ve been supporting a government-funded project demonstrating how innovative load management technology can help meet projected demand for power from heat pumps and EV charging in newbuild housing developments.

The Project DINO load management model, developed by Evergreen Smart Power, extrapolated real-world consumption data supplied by Energy Assets Networks to predict the impact of greater electrification on final mile networks.

The study proved how the DINO cloud platform could successfully communicate with electrical network assets, as well as EVs, batteries and heat pumps, to balance supply with demand without the need for costly reinforcement.

Supporting newbuild homes decarbonization

Project DINO involved:

• Developing hardware to monitor network condition and allow remote control of key domestic loads.

• Designing a prototype load management system that balances domestic load between houses.

• Applying the load management system to a case-study of a new-build housing estate and communicating with our smart cabinet substations.

The project outcome is important because there are plans to ban gas boilers in newbuild homes in Scotland in 2024 and in England one year later. This’ll increase electricity demand for domestic heat and other lower carbon technologies.  

Modelling demand to help balancing local network capacity

Symon Gray, Head of Electricity Networks at Energy Assets, was involved in the project and says:

“As we look to Net Zero, the direction of travel for local energy networks is clearly towards electrification, and this has implications for capacity nationally and for resilience at a local level, particularly on sites where supply is constrained.

“If we’re to avoid costly reinforcement – or risk supply curtailment or blackouts – we need to be able to balance networks successfully as demand for electricity grows. Partnering with Evergreen on this important modelling exercise enabled us to use real world data from an existing housing development in Scotland to predict the impact of heat pumps, EV charging and other low carbon technologies, such as domestic batteries, on capacity.

“Critically, it shows that we’ve got the technology to manage even constrained networks in an increasingly electrified housing environment.”

The DINO platform takes account of user heating and charge preferences, weather forecasts, and electricity prices, to manage electrical loads between neighbouring properties in a way that ensures minimal stress on network assets.

Optimising the benefit of low carbon technologies

“Project DINO is just one project that we’re involved in looking at how best to optimise capacity in step with growing demand for electricity in newbuild residential developments,” said Symon Gray.

“We’re also partnering with Cala Homes and E.ON on a housing scheme that’s integrating on-site renewables generation.

“Taken together, these projects are great examples of how the energy industry is alive with innovation, whether for load management, district heating schemes, vehicle-to-grid generation, battery storage, EV charge point infrastructure or hydrogen demonstration projects. And we’re delighted to be at the heart of many of these future-focused developments.”

Project DINO was co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and was carried out between April 2020 and June 2022.


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