Transforming Conventional Homes into ‘Super Homes’ for a More Sustainable Future

28 Mar , 2024  

The International Energy Research Centre (IERC), based at Tyndall National Institute, is working towards the transition to cleaner energy systems both nationally and globally. Conventional homes will have a significant role in supporting this transition. Households could be transformed into eco-friendly ‘super homes’ by introducing distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar panels, battery storage, heat pumps, and electric vehicles.

The project, named ‘SuHSI’ (Super Home Smart Inverter for Irish Electricity Network), funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), aims to assist in making these changes successful, through an augmented integration of DERs with the existing power grid. This initiative will help homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills and will also contribute to the overall sustainability of the electricity network.

The SuHSI project promises the smooth integration of DERs into the grid through the implementation of smart inverters and associated advanced control systems. This research project also aims to integrate advanced technologies like AI based intelligent power energy management systems to facilitate the seamless integration and control of DERs for ‘super homes’.

The key objectives of the SuHSI project are to:

  • Ensure alignment to future smart grid architecture to enable the ‘super home’s’ participation in future energy trading (local energy and flexibility markets) and system services (voltage and frequency regulation).
  • Reduce the cost of electricity by implementing intelligent home energy management systems, including Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) energy management models.
  • Increase the inverter efficiency > 99% and reduce the overall energy price by (0.06-0.1€)/kWh.

Through this research, IERC intelligent Grid Research Team will also demonstrate Virtual Living Lab concept for further research on future Irish Super Homes and beyond. The Virtual Living Lab concept of ‘super homes’ will allow researchers to test and evaluate different control developments and energy management systems in a Hardware-in-Loop environment before implementing them on a larger scale.

This project has the potential to significantly advance the transition towards a more sustainable and energy-efficient future, demonstrating how ‘super homes’ can become active participants in future energy markets.

Lead Researcher and Principal Investigator, Dr Sandipan Patra, said: “Our aim is to create a network of citizens who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and promoting distributed energy resources. This project provides resources and tools to assist individuals in becoming energy-active citizens and network operators in managing energy resources more efficiently.”

Dr Sandipan Patra (PI) and Dr Shafi Khadem (Co-PI) will collaborate with Dr Noor-A-Rahim from the Department of Computer Science at UCC to successfully execute the project goals.