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Owen Square community microgrid

Ground-breaking community microgrids

The award-winning Owen Square community microgrid in Bristol is being developed by CEPRO and its partners to be the UK’s most complete demonstration of the coming Energy Transition from fossil fuels to renewables. The project deployed solar panels and a hybrid air/ground Energy Centre with seasonal storage and is developing a local energy supply offer to 350 homes on the local substation.

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CHOICES solar district heat study


Owen Square Community Energy project

The CHOICES consortium led by CEPRO with partners ICAX, Eunomia and the University of Bath has delivered a comprehensive feasibility study of an innovative new renewable heat technology with funding from DECC.

The technology is a modular heat and power Energy Centre that will:

  • capture summer heat with air source heat pumps and charge an interseasonal borehole thermal energy store
  • supply heat in winter via district heat networks
  • reduce the grid impacts from electric heat by shifting electricity consumption from times of peak winter demand to times of surplus summer solar generation
  • provide new opportunities for Energy Service Companies to package and sell renewable heat

ICAX Energy Centre at Merton’s Acacia Intergenerational Centre

CHOICES was among 17 successful bids selected from 56 received by DECC. The £7m fund was announced by DECC in October 2014 to stimulate innovation in heat network technology that can help to reduce carbon emissions, reduce costs and support the development of UK heat network supply chains.

Findings from the study

A full Life Cycle Analysis was conducted by Eunomia to quantify the cost and benefits of the CHOICES approach compared with existing heating systems (individual gas boilers). Results showed annual carbon savings of 38% and energy savings of up to 64% in year 1, increasing to 51% carbon savings by year 10 and 66% by year 20 (carbon impact reduced to 86.1 kgCO2e/MWh).


Next steps

The next steps for the consortium is to build a fully operational pilot facility in Bristol that will provide real-world validation of the energy, cost and carbon savings reported through the feasibility study.

The CHOICES project combines pioneering interseasonal heat storage technology from ICAX,  energy-vector research from the University of Bath, CEPRO’s operations, monitoring and billing platform and full life cycle assessment by energy consultancy, Eunomia. The team will be working closely with Easton Community Centre and Easton Energy Group at the proposed site in Bristol.

Finalists in the Dynamic Demand Challenge

One of only five finalists drawn from an entry list of 76, Clean Energy Prospector (CEPRO) was yesterday commended in Nesta’s awards day for it’s coveted Dynamic Demand Challenge.  The company’s innovative Kudos™ service impressed the judges and performed well in the face of stiff competition with the winners trophy going to fellow finalist, Demand Shaper.

Kudos™ provides communities with simple, low-cost, radio-connected ‘fridge magnet’ energy displays. Using these displays the electricity network operator can run substation ‘energy challenges’ that signal local grid conditions and reward the community collectively for manually responding to those conditions and avoiding electricity use at peak times.

The team behind Kudos™ developed the idea off the back of a project from the Centre for Sustainable Energy that was using door-knocking campaigns to engage with communities to use less electricity at peak times.  This project gave Damon Rand and Robbie Mouat the idea to ‘automate’ behaviour change by running energy challenges with the Kudos™ fridge magnet at the times of the day that will make the most difference.

Damon Rand, co-founder and Head of Product Design at Clean Energy Prospector, was at the event which was held in central London, “We are really thrilled to be a finalist in this competition.  We would have preferred to have won however it was great opportunity to showcase our technology to an informed audience,” he commented, “Combining technology with social attitudes is a new fusion and one that we will continue to pioneer working with network operators and power suppliers.  We hope that this puts Kudos™ on the map in terms of engaging behaviour change in energy demand management as well as the clean tech sector and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Nesta and NPL.”

Run by Nesta in partnership with National Physical Laboratory’s Centre for Carbon Measurement, the Dynamic Demand Challenge Prize is seeking innovations that move electricity demand to off-peak times or make better use of renewable energy generation.

Jane Burston, Head of Centre for Carbon Measurement, National Physical Laboratory and on the judging panel for Dynamic Demand said, “The judges thought that Kudos’s novel idea to run community challenges would be a good educational and campaigning tool. Through engaging people in the reasons why dynamic demand is important, it is also likely to support the roll out of other dynamic demand technologies, laying the foundations for bigger carbon benefits than can be achieved through the Kudos challenges alone.”

Clean Energy Prospector has a number of other ground breaking products in its energy technology portfolio.   These include Simtricity, an operations and monitoring product that helps organisations deploy solar PV schemes and Skyprospector, an energy analytics product that helps homeowners assess investments in renewables.

Kudos energy challenges

Save energy for your community

Kudos™ energy challenges are a new service communities can use to raise money for energy efficiency activities. Participants receive radio-operated Kudos energy monitors and earn community rewards for avoiding electricity use at peak times. We are finalists in the Nesta dynamic demand competition.

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Simtricity, connected solar generation meters

The Simtricity solution (coming soon!) is a connected solar generation meter product for solar scheme managers and solar installers with engaging tenant and homeowner applications and services.

The Simtricity generation meter is an Ofgem approved PV generation meter from Em-lite. One of the smallest units on the market it includes optical or pulsed electronic outputs for further system integration.

The Simtricity low power radio gateway comes pre-installed with the generation meter and provides robust real-time internet connectivity using both Wifi and wide area mesh radio, enabled by our Blinkhub technology. Use the web dashboard to view generation, import and export stats in realtime

The Simtricity roof manager is a web service for solar scheme managers and solar installers to quickly and easily identify under-performing and failing microgeneration across a wider scheme.

With the Simtricity solution, Clean Energy Prospector is providing the first complete automated solar metering reading solution that meets the needs of solar scheme managers, solar installers and homeowners.