Managing Flexible Loads with Home Energy Management Systems to Maximize Electrical Panel Capacity

Testing at Connected Devices Laboratory

Load electrification in California will require major investments in electrical infrastructure, such as upgrades to the electrical panel or service feeder. These cost-prohibitive upgrades can often discourage the purchase of electrical loads. The objective of this project is to demonstrate how flexible loads can be an efficient and cost-effective solution for low-power electrification. In this concept, a panel would sense the current through its main breaker and inform the home energy management system (HEMS). The HEMS would then shift or shed the panel’s loads so as not to exceed the panel’s capacity. The demonstration controls attached loads via a price signal, which is modified from the CalFlexHub price server so as to account for panel capacity and real time load. The project outcome will be a portable bench-scale experiment that demonstrates the concept with several high-power plug loads.

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