Demand response is key to UK’s energy future

Demand response is key to UK’s energy future

The UK has more than 4GW of stored power in UPS units and this could be a valuable additional resource to tackle the country’s energy dilemma. Power manufacturer Riello UPS is urging industry to consider energy storage to reduce pressure on the UK’s power grid, according to Leo Craig, general manager of Riello UPS.

Craig was celebrating the installation of a UPS at the office of KiWi Power, the UK’s leading demand response aggregator. The project, funded by Innovate UK and led by GS Yuasa Battery Europe and Swanbarton, saw the creation of a Virtual Power Plant to support KiWi Power’s London office, which employs 20 people.
Using Lithium-ion battery technology from GS Yuasa in conjunction with the Riello UPS device, the plant works by using power generated from the batteries at peak times instead of using power from energy system operators.
“With electricity demand set to double by 2050, these methods of demand response will become even more crucial to balance the grid,” said Craig. “This presents new challenges and opportunities for the UPS industry and with the right equipment in place, your UPS can become a vital source for energy trading as well as an insurance policy against power failure.”
The Virtual Power Plant has been operating seamlessly to vary the demand on KiWi’s office in a way which is transparent to office operations. “By using our highly-developed UPS hardware, KiWi and Swanbarton have been able to focus on the key commercial aspects of how to capture the rapidly growing revenue opportunities for energy storage,” Craig added.
The Riello unit used is the MCM20NP model which supports power ranging from 5-12kW and has the capabilities to work with deep cycling batteries such as those built by Yuasa.
Peter Stevenson, senior technical co-ordinator at GS Yuasa, said: “This is the first time our batteries have been used in a demand response scenario in the UK and shows how well they suit this type of application.
“Lithium-ion products are based on robust lithium metal oxide chemistry with premium cycle life and high-power capability, allowing them to capture surplus power whenever it is available and to supply the load very efficiently.”
Additional commands were added to the UPS’ firmware with modes including Discharge – removing office load from the mains and supporting with the battery only, and Charge – to allow the office load to be supplied from the mains while the battery is recharged.
The choice of operating mode is made by a micro grid storage manager (MGSM), developed by Swanbarton. This collects information on the National Grid status, battery state, local load and aggregated load conditions. In the event of a mains failure, the normal UPS is restored immediately.