Virtual power station

RLtec has signed a contract with npower to roll out Dynamic Demand, a new technology developed to help maintain the balance between supply and demand across the National Grid.



RLtec, a portfolio company of Low Carbon Accelerator, has signed a contract with npower for an initial customer roll out in the UK of Dynamic Demand.


Dynamic Demand is a new software technology developed by RLtec that can be incorporated into the control unit of electrical appliances such as fridges and electrical heaters to help grid operators maintain the balance between supply and demand across the UK‘s National Grid.


This in turn helps grid operators to manage changes in demand and supply, improve efficiency and save energy and costs.


RLtec’s grid-management technology is expected to increase the energy efficiency of the whole electricity supply chain, from white goods and appliances through to large-scale power generators.


This project, to be implemented over the next two years, has been approved under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) legislation and is expected to contribute towards npower’s carbon reduction obligations.


Andrew Howe, chief executive officer of RLtec, said: ‘Appliances such as fridges that are 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, without affecting performance.


‘The technology has the potential to create a virtual power station and if widely used in the UK, could eliminate the need for carbon emitting coal-fired balancing stations and save up to two million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.’


Dr Stephen Mahon, chief investment officer at Low Carbon Investors and an RLtec board member, added: ‘The global market for demand response products is estimated at approximately $15bn per annum and last year the National Grid spent £770m on balancing services in the UK alone.


‘We believe large scale roll out of RLtec’s technology would enable electricity companies to make optimal use of existing assets and reduce the need for new power generation.’