Interview with Rowena McCappin – Glen Dimplex Project Director

RealValue: Realising Value from Electricity Markets with Local Smart Electric Thermal Storage Technology.

Project Director Rowena McCappin shares insights from the RealValue Horizon 2020 project

 

Q. What did the RealValue project involve and what was Glen Dimplex’s role?

A. Glen Dimplex was the coordinator of RealValue, a three-year research and innovation project which received €12.5M through Horizon 2020, involving 13 partners across five member states, representing the entire electricity value chain.

Our ‘Quantum’ Smart Electric Thermal Storage space and water heating appliances, known as ‘SETS’, were installed in 750 properties across Ireland, Germany and Latvia and connected to each country’s power grid. The project has delivered a huge leap forward in learning around how small-scale energy storage systems, when aggregated together, can help bring maximum value from clean energy in a more environmentally conscious world.

Q. What were the outcomes of RealValue and the added value for energy storage?

A. RealValue has demonstrated the role that Quantum SETS can play as thermal storage devices for energy balancing, grid security and supply, decarbonisation and integration of RES, network congestion and demand-side management, whilst simultaneously offering enhanced end-user experience in terms of increased comfort and control, and greater energy-efficiency.

As well as proving the effectiveness of the technical solution, within the project building and energy system modelling was carried out to assess the relative suitability of European countries for SETS into the future. Regulatory analysis assessed the market readiness for the RealValue solution and identified the most interesting business cases. We were also highly involved in BRIDGE, the European Commission Initiative for knowledge sharing between Horizon 2020 Smart Grid and Energy Storage projects. This provided unrivalled opportunity to share experiences from RealValue, and learn from other like-minded organisations, which is a crucial aspect of any R&D process.

Q. Where next for Glen Dimplex?

A. We believe that the home of the future will be all-electric and fully connected; Glen Dimplex’s future direction will be defined by this vision. Everyone will be able to become an active player in the energy world, but in a simple way. It will all add up to more energy efficiency, more control, more comfort – and the potential for new revenue streams and lower bills.

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