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Energy Innovation At Costain HQ

18 September 2014

Costain has installed an innovative technology, called Dynamic Demand, which uses its HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system to provide critical grid balancing services to National Grid.

Costain launched its COdemand venture, which will deliver Demand Response Solutions to its customer base, in Spring 2014. Demand response is defined as any service that allows the demand of energy to be shifted in order to help manage fluctuations in electricity supply and demand on the grid.

The first solution brought to market by COdemand is Dynamic Demand, a unique technology which was developed by Costain's partner Open Energi. The system fine-tunes organisations’ power consumption and provides more flexibility for managing the electricity network.

The Dynamic Demand system uses a combination of software and metering technology to attach to machinery such as pumps, chillers and air conditioning systems. Operating through a Tridium controller, it adjusts the power consumption of an asset in accordance with changes to grid frequency, effectively turning them into ‘smart assets’.

Power transported by National Grid has to be balanced to within a statutory frequency limit of 49.5 to 50.5 Hertz. If grid frequency drops, additional power needs to be generated which costs money and produces more CO₂.

Working in partnership with Open Energi, Dynamic Demand in Costain House, the Costain HQ in Maidenhead, will be active every day of the year allowing corrective action to be taken in response to changes in grid frequency. One of the main perks is that it creates an additional revenue stream paid by National Grid for adjusting energy demand.  This can all be done while working within the set parameters of the building’s HVAC system.

In addition to balancing energy, the technology collects second-by-second data to help assess electricity use which can help to identify energy efficiencies and in turn reduce energy costs and limit the production of carbon dioxide.

Steven Clarke, Business Development Director at Open Energi, said: “We are proud to be working with Costain whose COdemand initiative is a highly innovative strategy to create long term customer value. The combination of Costain’s industry expertise and Open Energi’s demand response technology makes for a compelling value proposition.”

Costain’s Sustainable Solution Manager, Claire Baker, said: “Whilst Costain works with billions of pounds worth of the nation’s assets, we wanted to demonstrate that even relatively small assets such as those in use at our offices are often highly viable for COdemand. Whether a company has a 1MW ASP fan or a 250kW HVAC system this solution could deliver value. We are very excited about our partnership with Open Energi and are really pleased to have got the system installed in our own building and be benefiting from it.”

 
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