Unlock the value of innovations that provide flexibility to the electricity grid by testing products and services in real time interactions between homes, networks and market & policy frameworks

What is the Whole Energy Systems Accelerator?

The Whole Energy Systems Accelerator (WESA) is a world-first energy innovation test and evaluation facility, enabling interactions between homes, energy networks, and market & policy frameworks to be tested in real-time and across a range of potential future energy system and market scenarios.

WESA combines Energy Systems Catapult’s real world test environment – our Living Lab with 1000s of digitally connected homes – with PNDC’s unique power networks demonstration facility to research, test and accelerate multi-vector energy systems that accelerate the scale up of the innovations needed to reach Net Zero.


Video Button

VIDEO: Learn how the Whole Energy Systems Accelerator can help you test and unlock the value of clean tech to provide flexibility to the grid

How does WESA work?

WESA works by extracting live energy data from homes in the Living Lab that are using smart, clean tech innovations that could provide flexibility to the grid. The data is sent to PNDC and aggregated to simulate a single street or neighbourhood – all in real time.

PNDC takes the data and uses a real time digital simulator to demonstrate the impact on different network configurations and replicates those electricity loads on their real-life network test centre near Glasgow – to understand the physical impact on the electricity grid.

Network impact data is then fed into the Catapult’s market emulator, created by our Systems Integration team, which can model and simulate various energy system conditions and test out different network charging mechanisms that might be used in future – such as dynamic or RAG pricing. The Living Lab homes might then receive a price signal in real-time prompting a change in home energy usage – which provides a flexibility service to the grid.

The Benefits

The Whole Energy Systems Accelerator combines expertise across electrical power systems, cybersecurity, whole energy systems and consumer insight to enable the testing of interactions between activity in homes, energy networks, and market & policy frameworks to be tested concurrently across many different future energy scenarios.

This makes it possible to test the physics, human behaviour, technology, and market aspects of new energy solutions concurrently and rapidly, thereby supporting the creation of a robust and affordable Net Zero energy system that considers consumers’ needs.

Figure 1: Whole Energy Systems Accelerator

Figure 1: Whole Energy Systems Accelerator

Living Lab

The Living Lab is a real-world test environment where innovators can rapidly design, market-test and launch innovative energy products, services and business models with people in 1000’s of digitally-connected homes.

Established in 2017 and spread across England, Scotland and Wales with a variety of tenures, property types and demographics, the Living Lab is digitally open, interoperable and scalable.

With room-by-room sensors and a digital integration platform – innovations can be tested with mainstream smart meters, IoT devices, smart heating controls, battery storage, solar PV and electric vehicle chargers.

Living Lab leverages expertise from across Energy Systems Catapult including Consumer Insight, Business Model Innovation, Harnessing Digital and Data, Systems Engineering, Whole Systems Modelling and Markets, Policy and Regulation.

The Living Lab also provides national capability to test and demonstrate market arrangements, policy and regulations with real consumers – as we move towards a Net Zero carbon future.

Read more

Power Networks Demonstration Centre

The PNDC facility is the most comprehensive destination to research, test and accelerate multi-vector energy systems and help shape the future of global energy solutions

Established in 2013, PNDC (Power Networks Demonstration Centre) is a unique facility offering a platform to accelerate the deployment and integration of energy networks and technologies through our advanced capabilities in system integration and collaborative industrial research.

PNDC performs accelerated technology testing in a controlled, real-world environment alongside a rich portfolio of research programs across all aspects of the energy system.

Leveraging highly-skilled research team, academic connections with the University of Strathclyde, state-of-the-art network assets and simulation systems to bridge the gap between ideas and deployment.

PNDC concentrate on three primary research focus areas, namely, digital substation, control room of the future, and integrated energy systems. Along with our focus areas, we have our Core Research Programme, which consists of six areas where we apply our knowledge and expertise.

Read more
Video Button

Video: Hear from the creators of the Whole Energy Systems Accelerator


WESA industrial partners will be drawn from the heat, transport, electricity and communications sectors, delivering an unparalleled mix of technology and commercial expertise, to steer WESA operations and provide routes to commercial exploitation. Significant private sector interest is emerging from large energy companies, technology and equipment developers, SMEs and consumer groups.

Contact Us

Want to test your innovation in real homes, with energy networks, and get help to fund trials?

Contact us

Want to know more?

Find out more about how Energy Systems Catapult can help you and your teams