Press Release by ARENA and POOLED ENERGY – 15th February
5000 swimming pools to trial technology that saves energy, manages peak demand, and improves Grid stability
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has just announced $2.5 million in funding to Pooled Energy Limited for a pilot-scale demonstration of its technology that dramatically reduces the energy consumption of household swimming pools, substantially improves the healthiness and quality of the pool water, and simultaneously provides a range of capabilities to take load off the Electricity Grid and help stabilise it.
Australia’s 1.4M residential pools uses as much electrical power as half of Victoria, or two large thermal power stations. Pooled Energy’s overall aim is to automate the pools, remove the need for one of those power stations by increasing energy efficiency, and, by managing the remaining energy use of the pools via the Internet, Pooled Energy provide Demand Management and Modulation (DM&M) on a large scale. The capabilities for Pooled Energy’s DM&M are similar to battery systems, but at a very small fraction of the cost.
The $5 million/ 5MW trial will see Pooled Energy conduct a trial of its technology with 5,000 residential swimming pools around Sydney, expanded from the current 400+.
Customers who sign up with Pooled Energy will have their pool upgraded with an Intelligent Pool Controller (IPC) that monitors and controls water quality and energy consumption. The IPC optimises for time-of-day, time-of-year, water chemistry, swimming use, weather, forecast, demand response, and energy cost and price, all via the Internet
Swimming pools use up to 40 per cent of total household electricity in the average house with pool. Pooled Energy reduces this to approximately 10%, while substantially reducing chemical usage and automating the pool with sensors and controls. There is also a substantial improvement in water quality.
The trial will also show the capability of Pooled Energy’s technology to manage a significantly large amount of pools to deliver Electricity Demand Management and Modulation. This will include the shifting of energy use from peak periods to lower demand periods, the smoothing of sharp voltage transitions in the Grid, power shedding, and improvements in Grid stability.
Pooled Energy’s control capabilities are not limited to the pool but are also progressively expanding to control other household appliances from q2, 2018
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the pilot project will demonstrate the ability to quickly respond to providing extra capacity and stability at peak times.
“Household swimming pools take up a very large load on the electricity network over the summer period and contribute substantially increased power bills for families,” he said.
“Pooled Energy’s technology will now be able to both reduce that load very substantially, while making a significant contribution in providing low-cost demand response in significant volume.” Mr Frischknecht said.
Pooled Energy’s Chairman, John Riedl said,”We are delighted to work with ARENA in assisting the transition of the Grid to renewables. Pools use approximately 10% of the average demand of the residential Grid and can be harnessed to assist the Grid with no inconvenience to the pool owner, but with substantial improvements in the automation, quality and energy use of the pool.”