First residential test of smart fridges

White goods manufacturer Indesit Co., energy supplier npower, and Rltec, a smart grid technology company, are ready to begin a UK trial of fridges fitted with grid-balancing technology. The appliances will carry technology, developed by RLtec and Indesit research teams, that helps to maintain the balance between supply and demand across the national electricity grid. Through 2010, up to 3,000 UK npower customers will be supplied with Indesit Co. dynamic demand fridges and fridge freezers, free of charge, in what will be world's first residential test of the technology.

Indesit, one of the largest appliance manufacturers in Europe, is the design and production partner for the project. Each fridge will be monitored in real time by a data collection system, which will feed back to researchers all the information needed to assess the potential carbon emission reduction which the system could provide in an everyday environment. Following the initial roll-out of 300, a total of up to 3,000 Indesit fridges and freezers of different types and models will be deployed so the carbon savings from dynamic demand can be assessed and calculated against a full range of different products.

Andrew Howe, CEO of RLtec, explains, "Appliances fitted with our dynamic demand technology automatically modify their power consumption in response to second-by-second changes in the balance between supply and demand on the grid. This means that the amount of carbon-emitting generating capacity used to maintain that balance can be dramatically reduced. What's more, it's effectively a silent solution as it doesn't affect appliance performance in any way and no action is needed on the part of the consumer."

For a video on the project, go here:

Rltec's Web site is here:

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