carbonTRACK’s intelligent ‘smart meter’ is for electricity utilities, retailers, and consumers. It can be used to control homes, renewable energy, electrical appliances, and helps manage grid infrastructure. The Smart Meter’s accurate control reduces electricity consumption and costs to make the electricity efficient. This technology could be the key to preventing future blackouts in the grid, as well as distributing the energy in an optimal manner (read more about how the carbonTRACK Smart Meter optimises supply and demand here).
This data helps to minimise the need for peaker plant infrastructure. “Peaker plants” are power plants that are fired up to supply electricity to the grid during peak demand events, such as extremely hot days during summer. Peaker-plant infrastructure accounts for 30% of electricity infrastructure assets, despite this infrastructure being used less than 10 days per year. They are incredibly inefficient, and could be blamed for the recent South Australia blackout and threatened NSW blackout.
The second step is managing electricity demand by controlling non-essential household devices. This ‘behind the meter’ control of consumption gives suppliers the ability to react instantaneously when supply exceeds predictions by turning off non-essential loads such as hot water systems and pool pumps, and requesting that energy stored in batteries or self-generating enters the grid. This control has the potential to eliminate the need for peaker plants entirely and, in doing so, removing billions in electricity infrastructure costs each year.
For its entire existence, the electricity sector has been forced to tolerate efficiency losses of up to fifty percent in the transport and use of power. The cost, both financial and environmental, is much higher than they would be if demand and supply could interact and renewable energy sources could be effectively and completely integrated into the existing grid.
With carbonTRACK’s Smart Meter, everyday people will save money by switching off devices when they are not needed and scheduling heavy loads, like hot water systems and pool pumps, to run at optimal times. Grid infrastructure will also become more efficient, and greenhouse gas emissions will be substantially reduced across the entire electricity sector. The Smart Meter has the unique technical capability, and non-invasive infrastructure that has the potential to convert the electricity grid into the much-coveted and long anticipated (but as of yet unrealised) Smart Grid of the future.
Accelerating Commercialisation support from the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Program will help carbonTRACK commercialise this disruptive technology for Australian and global deployment in homes and businesses to reduce electricity costs; grid infrastructure stress, and greenhouse gas emissions. It is set to generate jobs, technology expertise, and export income for Australia.