At Senfal we forecast and optimize energy consumption in order to manage the energy bill. We do this by shifting parts of the demand in response to energy markets. With our software we are able to save up to 40% on the energy bill. This type of service is often called demand response.
What is Demand Response?
Energy prices fluctuate on energy markets. With demand response, we shift energy consumption to those moments when prices dip. As the amount of volatile renewables increases, demand response will only become more valuable. This is because a larger share of renewables will lead to more volatile prices; when the wind and sun are available and abundant, a surplus of energy will drive prices down. When this happens, it is a good idea to start consuming energy. Because traditional energy suppliers cannot guarantee that their clients consume energy on cheap moments, these additional costs will be passed on towards the consumer. With demand response, we can shift part of the demand towards cheap hours. Therefore, energy suppliers that can apply demand response are able to ensure lower kWh prices.
What is Demand Response?
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How does Demand Response lower my energy bill?
Just like with every purchasing process, the energy supplier needs to know how much energy he needs to buy from energy markets. For electricity however, it is especially important these quantities are actually consumed. An energy supplier usually buys electricity for every hour. The acquired amounts of electricity need to be consumed within that hour. To accomplish this, the energy supplier needs to accurately predict the energy consumption of its clients. The more accurate this prediction, the cheaper he can purchase the energy. This is because energy suppliers are fined for deviating from scheduled supply. Demand response can therefore reduce energy costs in two ways:
- 1. It can reduce deviations from the scheduled supply
- 2. It can shift demand from expensive to cheap hours
The last is only possible when the client has a contract based on variable prices. Then a distinction is made between hourly prices.
Where is Demand Response an Option?
In every process where there is a buffer, flexibility is available. In cold stores for example, there is a buffer. Within a cold store temperatures need to be below a certain threshold. It is fine if temperatures are below that threshold from time to time. By defining a bandwidth within which the temperature in the cell is allowed to fluctuate, it becomes possible to shift the cooling process in time. For example, this bandwidth is set between -20°C and -15°C. When, within the cold store a temperature of -17,5°C is measured, a buffer of ±2,5°C becomes available. You can “charge” the cold store to -20°C or “discharge” the cold store to -15°C.
Automating demand response
With the software of Senfal, demand response is fully automated. We connect our software through the internet to the control systems already installed at the site. After a connection is established, we will first run tests, within which the software reads all relevant data, determining the savings we can offer. When we go live, the only thing the user notices is the savings on their energy bill.