A Dutch consortium under the direction of power company Eneco developed an IoT solution that allows electric water heaters to become energy buffers in the national electricity network. By turning on boilers when there is a surplus of (solar or wind) electric power, the excess energy is put to good use while simultaneously helping to relieve the stress on the power grid. The consumer benefits from a more steady hot water supply.
Currently, most electric boilers work by heating a large quantity of water just once a day – usually at night. Once the boiler vat is empty, no more hot water is available until the next heating cycle. By remotely controlling the heating process throughout the day, Eneco not only increases the comfort level of its customers, but it also creates an efficient way to siphon off excess energy in the power grid.
Key to the so-called SlimmeBoiler (smart boiler) is a device developed by TWTG from Rotterdam. It’s connected to an existing electric boiler and uses a cellular internet connection to send status data and receive commands. T-Systems built the ICT platform that collects and manages the data.
2000 Eneco customers had their boilers upgraded already. According to the power company, tens of thousands will follow later this year.