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The Radio Teleswitch: An historical perspective on the roll-out of domestic load control

Fell, MJ; (2018) The Radio Teleswitch: An historical perspective on the roll-out of domestic load control. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting (EEDAL'17). EU Publications: Irvine, CA, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

In the mid-1990s, much like today, there was strong research interest in demand management in the built environment and its potential for mitigating electricity grid challenges. Tariffs, technologies and infrastructure required to enable it had been developed and were generally available. So what went wrong? Since 1984 in Great Britain, the 'radio teleswitch' system had allowed for remote switching of meters and of loads such as electric heating in people's homes. Electrical engineers anticipated that this would usher in an era of improved load management and promote more even demand. But by 1996 the system was described as being 'significantly under utilised' [1] and, while hopes remained high, only a small percentage of British homes today have dynamically switched meters, heating or hot water [2]. This paper, based on historical desk research, outlines the development of the radio teleswitch system and compares it to discussions around smart grids and automation that are live today. It considers how dynamically switched systems were promoted and introduced to homes, how the landscape has now changed, and whether these changes might be enough to allow the systems being discussed now a greater chance of success. In this way it attempts to introduce a novel perspective to understanding both the deployment of load control technology in buildings and the limits on making efficient use of electricity infrastructure. It also hopes to inform current research and development by highlighting the rich track record of work in this area.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: The Radio Teleswitch: An historical perspective on the roll-out of domestic load control
Event: 9th International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting (EEDAL'17)
Location: Irvine, CA, USA
Dates: 13 September 2017 - 15 September 2017
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-deta...
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: demand response, direct load control, radio teleswitch, history, electric heating
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053062
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