Japan is starting to test demand-response (DR) control technology that will eventually allow the remote coordination and control of low-voltage electric equipment used in residential and business settings.

Image: Waseda University Research Institute for Advanced Network Technology

When widely deployed, DR control technology will allow electricity suppliers to control the settings of low-voltage appliances and devices used in houses and buildings equipped with smart meters and home energy management systems. In doing so, this technology could help avoid scheduled blackouts and achieve energy conservation within reasonable limits, even during times of highly stringent power supply and demand such as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

In December 2013, Waseda University and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry set up new servers, located at the Energy Management System (EMS) Shinjuku Demonstration Center, to handle DR signals over the Internet or privately owned networks. This is an important first step towards the development of communication standards for linking electric utilities, aggregators (wholesale electricity suppliers) and consumers with automated demand response (ADR) systems.

Based at Waseda University, the EMS Center provides platforms for testing and evaluating DR control technology using telecommunications standards. The facility is being used to link and coordinate low-voltage equipment made by different manufacturers — including smart meters, solar cells, electric vehicles, fuel cells, heat pump water heaters, air conditioning equipment and storage batteries — in response to energy conservation signals sent from electric utilities.

For further information contact:

Prof Yasuhiro Hayashi
Waseda University Research Institute for Advanced Network Technology, Japan
Email: c.takizawa3@kurenai.waseda.jp