The development, implementation and performance evaluation of an innovative residential load management system
Dalgleish, Abraham Zacharias
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The power utility of South Africa, Eskom, expected a supply shortfall of approximately 400MW between February and August 2006 in the Western Cape. The peak of the crisis was in mid-winter (June to August). This shortfall was firstly caused when Eskom experienced a breakdown on the one of the two nuclear supply units. Secondly the remaining of the Koeberg units was due for refuelling which necessitated the shut-down of the reactor. No electricity was therefore generated by both units. It was clear that if electricity demand was not effectively curbed, extensive power outages would be experienced; which was the case. Various demand side management (DSM) programmes were rolled-out to address lighting, switching from electricity to gas for cooking, compensating customers that could generate own electricity, energy efficiency and load curtailment in the education, commercial, and industrial sectors, as well as an extensive energy efficiency campaign. It is shown in this study that the most constrained periods were expected during the evening peak and was a consequence of electricity consumption in the residential sector. The residential evening peak is very prominent and primarily caused by water heating, cooking, space heating, lighting, and appliances. None of the mentioned programmes focused on the residential evening peak. Traditional residential DSM technologies were almost impossible to implement in the short timeframe because there are more than 625,000 residences in the Western Cape. A solution was looked for that could be implemented in a relatively short period to address the residential evening peak. This study focuses on the development, implementation, and performance evaluation of Power Alert – An innovative residential load management system. The need for such a system was identified and the expected impact was determined through a feasibility study. Power Alert was designed to be a link between Eskom and the public through the national television broadcaster. It was operational during the whole Western Cape winter. A methodology to determine the impact of Power Alert was also developed to demonstrate the actual load reductions. The methodology was applied and Power Alert demonstrated that it was a valuable residential load management tool that could be designed and implemented in a much shorter time than conventional residential DSM measures.
- Engineering