The FLATLINE project is a government funded research project that is demonstrating homes can reduce the cost of their energy whilst also providing “balancing” for the National Grid.
The project has completed a feasibility study (see downloads), and is now implementing a live trial on a pilot site in South Wales. The project is currently live, and the first trial homes will be operational from 2020.
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 seeks to demonstrate that the energy demand from our homes can be “time-shifted” so that it better aligns 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 is using low/zero carbon technologies installed under the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme and implementing 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. Through FLATLINE’s controls of these, it is anticipated that the raw cost of the energy for the homes, without transmission or management costs, could drop by more than half.
The Pilot sites
The Flatline project is being piloted on two sites in South Wales. Initially, prototype installations are being undertaken in three homes at The Mill in Cardiff, a development by Tirion Homes.
Flatline will then be deployed at scale on the 225 home development at Parc Eirin in Tonyrefail, where at approximately 50 or more homes will be operated using the control systems developed by the project.