Demand response is key to UK’s energy future, says power manufacturer

Riello UPS is urging industry leaders to consider energy storage to reduce pressure on the UK’s power grid.

The UK has more than 4GW of stored power in UPS units and this could be a valuable additional resource to tackle the country’s energy trilemma, according to Leo Craig, general manager of Riello UPS.

Leo was speaking following a successful UPS installation at the office of KiWi Power, the UK’s leading demand response aggregator.

The project, funded by Innovate UK and led by GS Yuasa Battery Europe Ltd and Swanbarton Ltd, saw the creation of a ‘Virtual Power Plant’ to support KiWi Power’s 20-strong London office.

Using Lithium-ion battery technology from GS Yuasa in conjunction with the Riello UPS device, the plant works by using power generated from the batteries at peak times instead of using power from energy system operators.

“With electricity demand set to double by 2050, these methods of demand response will become even more crucial to balance the grid,” said Leo.

“This presents new challenges and opportunities for the UPS industry and with the right equipment in place, your UPS can become a vital source for energy trading as well as an insurance policy against power failure.”

Speaking about the Virtual Power Plant, Leo added: “The system has been operating seamlessly to vary the demand on KiWi’s office in a way which is transparent to office operations. By using our highly-developed UPS hardware, KiWi and Swanbarton have been able to focus on the key commercial aspects of how to capture the rapidly growing revenue opportunities for energy storage.”

The Riello unit used is the MCM20NP model which supports power ranging from 5-12kW and has the capabilities to work with deep cycling batteries such as those built by Yuasa.

Peter Stevenson, senior technical co-ordinator at GS Yuasa, said: “This is the first time our batteries have been used in a demand response scenario in the UK and shows how well they suit this type of application.

“Lithium-ion products are based on robust lithium metal oxide chemistry with premium cycle life and high power capability, allowing them to capture surplus power whenever it is available and to supply the load very efficiently.”