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IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy

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Water Heaters -- efficiency, Smart appliances


The increased penetration of renewable energy resources poses challenges for grid stability. The stochastic generation of solar and wind power cannot be controlled to follow load. And, the transition away from synchronous generators is reducing the capacity to arrest and recover from frequency disturbances. Smart electric water heaters provide utilities with an appliance that can be remotely controlled and serve as a form of energy storage. They have very fast response times and make up a large amount of residential energy consumption, making them useful for load peak shifting as well as other ancillary grid services. As smart appliances become increasingly widespread, more and more devices can be brought into the utility control network and aggregated into a flexible resource on a multi-megawatt scale. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of aggregated electric water heaters for providing two ancillary services: peak shifting and frequency response. Because a large number of assets are required, emulators are developed based on observations of real devices. Emulated water heaters are then connected to an energy resource aggregator using an internet-of-things network. The aggregator uses these assets to shift consumption away from peak hours and for detecting upward frequency disturbances.


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