Researchers at the UK’s University of Southampton have developed a mechanism that uses smart computerised agents to control energy storage devices in the home, resulting in energy savings of up to 16 per cent.

In a paper entitled Decentralised Control of Micro-Storage in the Smart Grid by Dr Thomas Voice describes a decentralised control mechanism that manages micro-storage using agent-based techniques to allow energy suppliers to manage the demand from their consumers.

This, in turn, allows the suppliers to reduce their wholesale purchasing costs, yielding savings of up to 16 per cent for consumers using devices with an average capacity of 10 kWh.

It uses a real-time pricing scheme broadcast to consumers in advance of each daily period. Computerised agents then buy, sell and store energy on behalf of the home-owners.

By adjusting the pricing scheme to match conditions on the wholesale market, the supplier can ensure that, as a whole, consumer agents converge to a stable and efficient equilibrium where costs and carbon emissions are minimised.

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