The FLATLINE project is a government funded research project demonstrating that homes can reduce the cost of their energy whilst also providing “balancing” for the National Grid.
The project is now complete, (see downloads), following a live trial using two pilot sites in South Wales.
The “balancing” to the National Grid is necessary because our energy demands do not align with our capacity for energy generation, and with renewable generation this becomes even more challenging. The FLATLINE project has demonstrated how energy demand from our homes can be “time-shifted” to better align with when energy is being generated. This process, called domestic demand side response, can reduce peak demand for electricity and energy costs, as well as reducing carbon emissions.
To achieve this, the project used low/zero carbon technologies installed under the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme and using new controls to operate these to help balance the demand to the National Grid. These technologies include ground source heat pumps, thermal and electrical storage in the homes, photovoltaic generation on the roofs and smart controls for the residents.
The FLATLINE project has demonstrated how shifting demand for energy within homes can have significant impacts – both in terms of reducing carbon emissions, as well as saving money for the energy bill payer (roughly around a 25% reduction).
Here are the key findings from the pilot homes:
- No-net-import from the grid: successful delivery of the ‘no-net-import’ elements – where the home shifts to its stored / generated energy rather than drawing from the grid.
- Export to the grid: successful delivery of the ‘negative import’ interventions, where the home actively exports energy back to the grid.
- Avoiding peak demand: Successful avoidance of peak demand periods, through battery charging during low demand, cheaper rate energy and low carbon intensity periods – and utilising excess solar generation.
- Reduced energy bills: The battery itself – the key enabling asset – led to running cost savings of around £220 per year, roughly a 25% reduction.
- Reduced carbon emissions: The average carbon emissions saving at Parc Eirin are forecast at 71.2 tCO₂/year (the equivalent of the emissions produced by 15 cars in a year ). This could be increased by a further 4-6% due to DSR (equating to an average of 46-66kg per home annually).
You can read more about the research and results in the downloads section below.
Q&A with the team
We will be hosting two events in June 2021 to talk about the project and its findings in more detail, and answer questions.
The events will both cover the research and core findings, with the Energy Focus event providing more depth on the issues surrounding DSR,
energy management and the grid, and the Building and Construction Focus event focusing more on how the technolog and insight
can be applied in practice moving forward for new and existing homes and buildings.
Click on the event links to find out more and book your place.