Electrolux tests system to reduce power grid overloads due to cold temperatures

In light of the recent cold weather Electrolux has been testing ways to reduce power grid overloads.

The residential sector consumes approximately one third of all electricity consumed in the EU, and large household appliances consume approximately one third of all residential electricity. Some authorities went to the length of urging consumers to use kitchen appliances overnight to balance the use of power throughout the day.

Electrolux hopes their smart grid project could reduce this risk. In the project, households are testing a system for smart appliances that automatically detect and avoid consumption during peak periods of the day. The trial phase will run over 2010, and involve selected households throughout Italy.

The system informs users about their power consumption directly on their computer, mobile or on the display of the appliance, allowing them to download customised programmes that help save energy.

“Over the last year the industry has made an effort reducing the energy consumption and environmental footprint of appliances. The last week’s energy situation, points out the important role of energy smart appliances,” says Hans Stråberg, President and CEO of Electrolux. “Mainly this is an issue of community planning, but also an environmental issue. Avoiding power demand during peak periods will reduce the pressure on the power grid, making it possible for the society to avoid CO2 emissions, for example because we will then not have to rely on backup power from carbon and diesel power plant.”

Electrolux is contributing with prototypes of smart appliances and applications in order to manage energy consumption.

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