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Now, IoT-enabled ACs that can pay customers for switching off 

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Wouldn’t it be nice if you were paid for not switching on the AC during peak hours, or even keeping the cooling not too low?  

IoT-enabled air-conditioners can make this happen and Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) is working towards this. 

A good tool in grid management — balancing supply and demand for electricity — is ‘demand response’, or adjusting demand to supply, rather than the other way around. If EESL’s plan fructifies, it can shave off a slice of the demand during peak hours by incentivising customers to keep their air-conditioners switched off. 

EESL, the Government of India owned ‘energy services company,’ works to bring about energy efficiency, primarily by aggregating demand and, thereby, hammering down the cost of energy-efficient electrical appliances, which are otherwise typically more expensive. 

Demand response assumes importance when the contribution of fickle-natured renewables to the total energy in the grid increases — when supply falls, demand can be adjusted, if the appliances are IoT-enabled. During peak hours, cutting demand may be more cost effective than buying more power to satisfy demand. 

Also read: Catching the energy tiger by its tail

In a recent chat with businessline, EESL’s CEO, Vishal Kapoor, said the company is working on a plan to operationalise demand response with air-conditioners. This would involve changes in regulations and, hence, could take about a year to be implemented. 

Fans and chillers 

EESL plans to aggregate demand for 10 million energy-efficient ceiling fans. In India, there are 600-700 million ceiling fans, so with 10 million, the company is just scratching the surface, but it is still a big number, Kapoor said. 

For urban areas, EESL would focus on the highly-efficient BLDC fans, but for non-urban areas, it would settle for the less-costly induction fans, which are not as energy-efficient as BLDCs, but still better than the conventional fans. BLDCs are of 28-30 Watts, induction fans about 40 W, while the conventional fans are 70 W, he said. 

Again, for chillers, which are used in centralised cooling systems, EESL would work on the ‘ESCO model’, where it would supply energy-efficient chillers, and let the customer pay for it over a period of time. 

 





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