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PORTUGAL: Japanese air conditioning manufacturer Daikin is involved in an automated demand response (ADR) project in Portugal.

The trial project, which runs to December 2019, aims to stabilise the use of renewable energy by building a system to meet the peak use of air conditioning and adjust the balance in electricity supply and demand, even in the summer. Air conditioning currently accounts for around 40% of electrical power consumption in Portugal.

Portugal has been actively promoting the introduction of renewables, including wind energy and hydroelectric power generation. It ultimately aims to increase its renewable energy share of total energy consumption to 31%.

In May of this year, renewables provided all of the electrical power in Portugal for 107 consecutive hours. However, even with future increases in the ratio of renewable energy, there are still concerns that renewables cannot sufficiently supply electricity during peak demand periods.

The project, based in Lisbon, is a collaboration between Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO) and the National Energy Institute of Geology of Portugal (LNEG). In addition to Daikin, other companies involved include electricity supplier Energias de Portugal (EDP), power systems company EFACEC and Portuguese business consultancy Everis.

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Daikin VRV multi-split air conditioners using demand response to automatically control the upper limit of electric power consumption will be installed in a number of research institute buildings in Lisbon, including Lisbon City Hall.

The air conditioners will be connected to a control system that predicts electricity demand by utilising such information as the preceding day’s weather and the daily use conditions of air conditioners. This information will be used to automatically adjust the amount of consumption.

Local electrical power retailers, together with virtual power plant vendors, managing groups of multiple small-to-medium power generation facilities of renewable energy will adjust the supply of electricity.