System spotlight: Peak shaving at The Olde House

In this ongoing series, Michael Brown, redT system data analyst, shares some real-world insights on how redT's machines are operating to create value for our customers all over the world. In his first post, Michael looks at redT's 1.08MWh installation at The Olde House, a working farm and holiday cottage business in Cornwall, UK.

The Olde House installation is a great example of how long duration energy storage infrastructure can be used at Commercial & Industrial sites here in the UK to enable business owners to utilise more of the cheap solar power they generate on site, by “timeshifting” excess that isnt used immediately by the site, into the evening to reduce the amount of energy import from the grid during peak hours. 

Site facts:

  • 1.08MWh energy storage machines (6 x redT flow machines)
  • Operated remotely by redT energy assets team
  • 250kWp PV installation
  • 600-acre working farm with 28 holiday cottages
  • Part of Centrica’s Cornwall Local Energy Market initiative
1.08MWh system at The Olde house

As a working farm and popular destination for holiday makers, the site has a demand load that is heavily weighted towards the evening, when guests return to their cottages after a day out in the Cornish countryside. This means that the site has a relatively high demand for electricity until approximately 11pm – long after the sun has gone down and the PV array ceases to generate.

Importing energy from the grid in the evening is also comparatively expensive due to the peak/off-peak tariff structure on the site energy contract.

So how is our system creating value at The Olde House? I’ve included below an real example of what our machines did on the 11th October this year (which happened to be a typical English autumn day – around 12 degrees with rain showers and some light cloud)

System operation on 11/10/18

The X axis on this graphic shows time, running from midnight, through to 11pm on the 11th October. The Y axis shows the amount of energy used in kWh. The grey area shows site electricity import, with solar generation shown in yellow. When our system is discharging, this is denoted by the red area.

Early morning: We can see import from the grid to the site for various uses during the cheap, off-peak tariff period.

Morning: We see the sun come up at around 5am and the solar panels beginning to generate as the sun comes out. Between 5am and 10am, this generation is being used directly on-site to reduce the amount of import from the grid.

Mid-Morning: Our system, which has stored energy from the previous day, begins to discharge, augmenting the solar generation to further reduce the amount being imported from the grid.

Afternoon: We see the solar generation ramping up, hitting peak between 1pm and 4pm. During this time, the solar power produced is exceeding what is needed on the site. Any excess is being stored in our machine.

Evening: With sunset approaching, the system starts discharging at around 5pm, again reducing the amount of electricity that needs to be imported from the grid. Our machines then continue to discharge consistently until 11pm, releasing this excess solar power from earlier in the day over the next 6 hours or so. This is during a peak tariff period when energy is more expensive to import from the grid.

Interested in finding out more? Contact our team who are happy to answer any questions you may have.

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