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Use of smart grid technology to compare regions and days of the week in household water heating




electric water heating, internet of things, load control, smart water metering


Water heating is a leading cause of household energy consumption and, given its capacitive nature, has been the focus of research on demand side management and grid peak load management. Despite all the existing literature on energy for water heating, very little is known about an inextricably linked key determinant of it - demand for hot water and consumption patterns thereof. Moreover, even though water heating energy demand profiles have been investigated in the past, little is known about the different energy profiles for the days of the week, and regional variance of such profiles. This paper measures and reports actual hot water demand acquired through a novel smart metering solution. The different profiles for the days of the week are evaluated, in addition to weekdays and weekend days. Finally, differences between units in peri-rural Mkhondo and the urban Western Cape are compared in terms of water demand, energy demand, and efficiency (energy in vs. energy out). The results show a striking similarity to previous work, with the exception that scheduling has led to energy demand leading water consumption. The results also show that daily routines vary significantly, and also between regions. Surprisingly, the efficiencies and consumption patterns between the regions are also stark, with the urban Western Cape using 20 % more water on an average day, and with 70.2 % efficiency vs. 45.8 % in Mkhondo.


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