Can an Australian energy tech innovator help accelerate Net Zero in the UK?

Energy management technology innovator, carbonTRACK UK, is launching its energy flexibility platform into the UK residential market by running a trial in the ‘Living Lab’ operated by Energy Systems Catapult.

Following several successful trials with commercial energy consumers in the UK, carbonTRACK will be testing their platform in homes, aiming to unlock multiple revenue streams for Independent System Operators (ISOs), energy aggregators and renewable energy financiers.

By integrating ‘at the edge’ hardware, wireless network infrastructure, control systems with its powerful machine learning and predictive engine (which uses highly secure cellular communication), carbonTRACK provides competitively priced, reliable, and scalable energy intelligence for both residential and commercial applications. With an established Australian residential fleet, carbonTRACK is aiming to adapt its technology for the UK market, focused on managing batteries, heat pumps and electric vehicles.

carbonTRACK is aiming to be a key player in the rapidly growing flexibility markets to decarbonise the UK energy system. Offering a smart energy platform that cuts costs and reduces carbon for consumers. It achieves this by using a range of low carbon strategies to shift demand, while providing flexibility to the grid – a critical element of delivering a Net Zero energy system.

The Living Lab Is a real-world test environment of over 500 digitally connected homes, spread across England, Scotland and Wales with a variety of tenures, property types and demographics helping innovators to de-risk and scale innovations by running trials directly with consumers in their homes.

Energy Systems Catapult is supporting carbonTRACK to test its flexibility platform in homes with solar PV, battery storage and an electric vehicle alongside a smart meter and more regular appliances such as a gas boiler, fridge, dishwasher, washing machine etc. In particular, Energy Systems Catapult will help carbonTRACK to:

  • Better understand energy demand profiles, including electric and gas data;
  • Test the control of both clean technologies and regular appliances in homes; and
  • Better understand how UK energy consumers interact with carbonTRACK’s solution.

carbonTRACK UK CEO, Darren Shipard, said: “over the past decade there has been a rapid uptake of solar PV and battery systems by Australian homes and businesses, and carbonTRACK created a platform in response to this need, to monitor and optimise renewable energy generation.

“We expect this Australian expansion to mirror the rapid uptake of electric vehicles and heat pumps in the UK.

“With our technology now installed in over 10,000 homes and businesses across Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and USA, we’ve spent the past 18 months adapting the platform for the UK market by integrating with various energy distribution networks, such as Western Power Distribution and UK Power Networks and National Grid.

“This will help to balance supply and demand on the grid, by allowing networks to connect directly with consumers through the platform, increasing or decreasing demand on request by market signal.

This trial with Energy Systems Catapult’s Living Lab will help to rapidly adapt the platform for UK households. Helping us to further evolve the platform to support the conversion from gas heating to electric heat pumps and where dual systems are used to automatically make the switch between gas and electricity based on market signals.”

Rebecca Sweeney, business lead for the Living Lab at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “The ‘Living Lab’ is the UK’s real-world test environment to help innovators from here and abroad de-risk and scale innovations by running trials directly with consumers in their homes.

“We have over 500 connected homes with a range of housing types and consumer demographics spread around the UK, allowing businesses to test low carbon innovations in real-world conditions.

“Energy Systems Catapult will help provide carbonTRACK with rich insights obtained through testing in the ‘Living Lab’ to tweak their innovation for UK consumers, ensure the technology is interoperable with low carbon technologies and appliances, and equally importantly help to better understand UK consumers under real-world conditions.

“Our consumer insight specialists will work with residents to analyse the lived experience of demand side response.”

Smart Energy Platform

With more than 10,000 gateways installed globally, carbonTRACK has one of the largest monitored residential PV fleets across Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa (GTM Research 2018). In addition to these markets, carbonTRACK uniquely offers its end-to-end virtual power plant solution (incorporating hardware, firmware & its AutoPilot software) to the USA.

carbonTRACK’s smart energy platform was integrated with the UK flexibility markets supported and funded by an Innovate UK project. The Innovate UK project provided support with the knowhow of the UK energy eco system, collaboration partners as well as funding support. This project puts carbonTRACK at the forefront of innovation in the largest and most progressive flexibility market in the world.

At present in the UK, the platform is applied to non-residential customers such as universities, business parks and government buildings. Local authorities that have received Public Sector Decarbonization (PSDS) funding will use carbonTRACK to monitor and optimise the performance of assets such as heat pumps, battery and solar systems. A more advanced use of the platform as a peer-to-peer solution will enable council-run schools to sell their energy to neighbouring consumers such as leisure centres.

carbonTRACK has also developed modular solutions (such as microgrids) to serve tenants of Business Parks, creating “virtual energy networks” with business models that help solve the tenant/landlord incentive problem that is often a barrier to introducing decarbonisation technologies.

About carbonTRACK

carbonTRACK is an Australian company which is disrupting the energy sector globally with patented technology that creates a decentralised energy ecosystem by connecting energy generators, energy distributors and energy consumers. Its technology delivers the intelligent energy management systems that facilitate embedded networks, Virtual Power Plants, and smart grids, enabling individuals, communities, businesses, and countries to harness legacy and renewable energy and harvest the benefits.

carbonTRACK’s technology seamlessly integrates with third-party hardware, is easily retrofittable and has independent and highly secure cellular communication capability.

Living Lab

Quick, safe and affordable. Rapidly design, market-test and launch innovative energy products, services and business models with real people in over 500 connected homes.

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