Smart Power & Smart Community Energy

Smart Power and Smart Community Energy

“Developing optimised community energy networks”

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Background & Brief

Bioregional, Zeta Lighting Group and Carnego Systems together developed this project to explore new approaches to maximising the on-site use of the high-density solar PV power generated in new housing developments. The project won funding from the TSB and used the 393-home NW Bicester Eco-Town Exemplar as a case study. More information can be found on the following link.

The team worked in partnership to deliver the following solutions;
• A direct DC feed from the solar PV panels to DC-powered LED lighting (thus avoiding DC-to-AC losses in the inverter);
• Battery storage of excess energy; this may be either on a ‘per house’ basis, per ‘cluster’ of houses. or on a neighbourhood basis in a local energy centre;
• A smart home controller system to provide automatic and manual control of appliance switching and energy use in the home; and
• A touch-screen sustainable information system (the ‘Shimmy’) to provide a focus for behavioural change and time shifting of energy demand. The DC powered LED lighting solution has been developed by Zeta, a Bicester-based company, and has led to a patented product that the team expects may be highly marketable beyond NW Bicester. As the stakeholder group, the NW Bicester Exemplar developer A2Dominion and its construction team provided valuable feedback on installability, maintainability and marketability. A live ‘proof of concept’ model has been set up at Zeta’s offices in Bicester and the team hopes to trial the solutions in a small number of homes on the Exemplar.

The team has developed a working bench model of the system, and is now seeking further funding to develop the prototype to the point of being commercially ready and installed in a number of test homes.

Project funder

Technology Strategy Board

Project partners

  • A2Dominion
  • Zeta Lighting Group
  • Bioregional
  • Carnego Systems

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