Dimplex energy storage technology plays key role in 1,000 home wind power project

North American company introduces storage heating expertise to produce modern solutions for electrical utility companies.

August 29, 2011

Cambridge, Ontario (August 29, 2011) — Dimplex North America Limited, an operating unit of the Glen Dimplex Group based in Dublin, is transferring the innovative heating technologies from its German parent company and adapting them for use in the North American market. The Glen Dimplex Group is the world’s largest producer of electrical heating appliances and has developed a range of products that can help utilities reduce their carbon footprint. A recent example is the company’s participation in a 1,000 home wind power project on the Shetland Islands that uses next-generation Dimplex smart storage heaters.

The Shetland Islands, situated 170 miles northeast of Scotland, closer to Norway than to Edinburgh, are home to 22,000 of the UK’s most hardy residents. The Islands are not connected to the UK’s electricity grid, and the main power plant, an oil-fired unit, is reaching the end of its service life. Because of their exposed North Sea location, however, the Islands have some of the best potential for wind generation in the world. The local electrical utility, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), decided to take advantage of the substantial wind energy potential by developing a smart grid and using smart energy storage systems. As part of its energy storage solution, SSE is fitting 1,000 homes on the Islands with Dimplex smart electric thermal storage heaters and hot water tanks.

The issues facing SSE on the Islands’ wind project are similar to those of other renewable energy projects: when there is enough demand from customers relative to the energy being produced, the electricity from the wind turbines goes toward meeting that demand, but when demand drops relative to production, there is too much electricity being generated, necessitating some type of Demand Side Management. For the Shetland project, SSE selected an active grid network, connected to multiple energy storage systems. SSE will use some of the excess power electricity from the wind turbines to supply reduced-rate electricity direct to those customers with the Dimplex next-generation storage heaters installed. The utility will manage demand from a central location by sending commands to the various devices, while guaranteeing an acceptable level of comfort for the residents.

SSE outlined several requirements for the energy storage system needs: the heaters would have to be continually energized and accept a trickle charge to a default level while being able to respond rapidly to an increased charge to meet the requirements of the coldest days or support the electrical network’s frequency response; the heaters would have to accept power continuously at varying power levels and be extremely well insulated to minimize static heat losses; the units would have to be compatible with SSE’s interactive demand management system and be cost effective. Dimplex used its expertise as the world’s largest storage heating manufacturer to develop a smart storage heating system that met all of SSE’s requirements. The Dimplex smart storage heaters work with SSE’s smart grid system and other ZigBee based systems to accept surplus wind power when it is available, and store this as heat energy to meet the homes’ heating requirements, no matter how harsh the Shetland Islands’ weather.

Ron Kurtz, Dimplex North America Limited’s Director for Sustainable and Renewable Energy Markets, has established the local infrastructure to deploy the worldwide capabilities and experience of Dimplex in applications across North America. Kurtz explains: “Many forms of renewable power generation, such as wind power, operate around the clock, and not always when it’s needed. Wind power and other sources, such as solar, are intermittent in nature, and as result, energy production is often out of sync with energy demand. At Dimplex, we have over 45 years of experience designing and producing energy storage solutions. As the momentum builds for renewable energy in North America, Dimplex stands ready and able to partner with electrical utilities, and others to create leading-edge yet practical, efficient and cost-effective answers to the industry’s needs.”

About Dimplex:
Dimplex North America Limited, headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario is North America’s
leading manufacturer of electric fireplaces and is a division of the Glen Dimplex Group of Ireland.
The Glen Dimplex Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of electric heating products, having
demonstrated outstanding innovation, quality and customer service for more than 35 years.

« Back