Efficiency through simplicity.

e-Radio Teams with Bonneville Power Authority (BPA) in Major Electrical Power Grid Management Demonstration

June 16, 2017

Bonneville Power Authority (BPA) has announced that up to 600 residential electricity customers are slated to participate in a smart water heater emerging technology demonstration project employing e-Radio UMC communications solutions in four Pacific Northwest U.S. markets (Seattle/Tacoma and Wenatchee in Washington state; and Portland and Eugene in Oregon). By having a water heater receive FM radio messages, it will know if it is a good time to use electricity and can crank itself up - or it can see that demand for electricity is high and reduce its electric use accordingly to save energy.

The project uses e-Radio's patented FM RDS broadcast communications system as the sole method of utility information delivery to the water heaters and this is e-Radio's first project using CTA-2045 compatible modular communication devices (UCMs) in utility customer homes. There are a total of five FM stations participating in the four Pacific Northwest demonstration markets (Seattle/Tacoma: KJAQ 96.5, Portland: KINK 101.9, Eugene: KKNU 93.3, Wenatchee: KKRV 104.7 and KHNW 88.3).

When the smart water heater is able to listen to the e-Radio FM RDS broadcast of utility signals, it can help balance the grid while serving the customer's interest in comfort, security and cost savings. This is accomplished by changing the time when, and at what rate, it re-heats water so that the tank acts like a battery. The aggregated effect from these water heaters can form a virtual flexible power plant, complimenting and making best use of the mix of existing and planned generation from all sorts of fuels, including solar and wind generation.

e-Radio has developed two module types that are compatible with a number of water heater types, both resistive and heat pump, from various manufacturers. This requires use of both e-Radio CTA-2045 compatible UCM products: the smaller DC form factor and UL certified (UL-916 Accessory for Energy Management Equipment) AC form factor.

For historical archived information, go to the BPA site at: https://www.bpa.gov/EE/Technology/EE-emerging-technologies/Projects-Reports-Archives/Field-Tests/Pages/Smart-Water-Heater-Pilot.aspx

To listen to a sample PSA (public service announcement) go to: www.kink.fm/energy