Evaluation of Residential Room Air Conditioner Control with Smart Plugs for Peak Load Reduction

Category: 
Residential
Project Number: 
DR12.21
Start Year: 
2012
End Year: 
2017
Markets Segments: 
Residential
Project Type: 
Demand Savings
Product Evaluation
Type of Technology: 
Demand Response
HVAC, Residential
Organization: 
Southern California Edison (SCE)
Project Status: 
Completed
Savings Type: 
Home

The smart plug device chosen for evaluation is called a Thinkeco Modlet. The modlet is designed specifically for controlling existing room air conditioners in response to demand response (DR) events. The thermostat provides the ability of the modlet to control ACs plugged into the modlet, based on indoor temperature conditions. By enabling existing room ACs operating during critical times to respond to DR events, smart plugs like the modlet offer potential for automated peak load reduction to utilities. A Friedrich Kuhl room air conditioner with Wifi connectivity was tested under modlet control as well as without modlet control. 

The modlet was first field tested to control existing air conditioning units of customers before being lab-tested with a connective window air conditioner. The field trial identified different types of impacts achieved with ACs under modlet control. Types of impacts included: full impact (ACs cycled off throughout a DR event); reduced duty cycles; delayed cycling; partial impact; or no impact achieved (due to user override and/or lack of AC utilization during a DR event).  

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