European researchers are creating technology that will treat neighbourhoods like a miniature power grid,
sharing energy generated at each house according to need. Allied to a host of other developments, the concept promises huge energy savings.
European researchers at the Beywatch project will create ‘smart’ homes that balance energy needs within the neighbourhood and even generate electricity and hot water at each household.
Beywatch — which stands for Building Energy Watcher — will achieve this through a comprehensive, integrated chain of technologies and innovations that work at every level of the grid, from light switchs to power stations.
It is developing ultra-high efficiency home appliances and smart home and neighbourhood information networks for monitoring and control, and real-time links with the energy provider.
It includes in-home power and hot water generation using combined photovoltaic and thermal solar panels, neighbourhood level load-balancing for the grid, and it will even develop innovative exploitation plans to identify feasible business models that will make the system’s commercialisation possible.
Combined, Beywatch’s efforts will provide a best-of-breed smart energy network, reduce energy demand, maximise resource efficiency and minimise costs.