Successful Live Generation Following !!

The ACCESS project team is very excited to report that the heating demand of our participants was succesfully matched with the generation output of the Garmony hydro scheme.  A 5-hour live-following test was undertaken in the last week of March and project partners, VCharge, reported minimal software glitches (which have already been addressed) and no issues relating to participant heating or hot water either during or after the test. 

Over the course of the 5 hours of charging, storage heaters were dispatched in priority order, based on their “need” to charge. The ranked dispatch list of heating assets was passed to the VCharge system every 5-10 minutes, essentially re-shuffling the list of heaters that would be turned on.  Simple (!)

VCharge intend to continue to analyse the data from this test, and will run a couple more (as weather allows) for longer periods over the next couple of weeks before we formally commence live matching on an on-going basis.  We may be the only people in Scotland hoping for rain this Easter!  This milestone has of course been eagerly awaited for quite some time and so it is fantastic news to hear of this progress. 

New Year Update

Happy New Year to all ACCESS Participants!

With winter and cold snaps here, VCharge are working towards matching weather data and the output of the Garmony Hydro Scheme with your heating requirements, with the aim of beginning live matching in the next couple of weeks. It is therefore essential that they can “see” all of the heaters and that you do not turn any of your heaters off at the wall.

For those of you with Dimplex Quantum heaters, please switch them to “Holiday Mode” and set the number of days required (up to 255 days) at the lowest temperature of 7°C. This incurs a minimal cost and you can change it at anytime if you decide that you need more heat.

If you have a different style of storage heater, please set them to the lowest temperature possible and set input to the minimum.

If you have any questions about this, please telephone the ACCESS helpline on 0800 193 3997 and the advisors will be able to talk you through adjusting your heaters.

The ACCESS project is nearing the end of its original tenure (though we are hopeful for an extension in view of the delays) and we will be in touch shortly to discuss post-ACCESS options for keeping your local energy benefits local. In the meantime, we hope you have had a wonderful holiday and send our very best wishes for a prosperous 2017.   

ACCESS Project Update - We're getting read to "Go-Live"!!

Craig from VCharge shows off the new Dynamo App available to ACCESS participants from September 2016.

Last month ACCESS Project Partner's, Community Energy Scotland, Mull and Iona Community Trust, SSE and VCharge were on-hand at three drop-in workshops around Mull.  VCharge talked particpants through their exciting new app (available from September) whilst the rest of the group talked through participant queries and demonstrated how to change the temperature settings on the new storage heaters provided to some of the householders taking part in the Trial.

The installation phase of the ACCESS Project is all but complete and the Project partners are busily working to begin the Trial phase of the project.  That means actively matching our participant's existing heating demand with locally produced renewable energy from the Garmony hydro scheme. This will happen automatically, so our participants don’t need to do anything differently. Their newly fitted dynamos, with VCharge’s software behind the scenes, will do everything for them!

Since June VCharge have been matching an increasing number of homes and will continue to do so over the next few weeks until every participant in the project is able to maximise their use of Garmony’s  green energy.  Given the time of year, our Participant's heating demands are slightly lower than normal, and Garmony’s output is less too, as there is less rain (and hopefully more sun!).  But this is exactly the time for us to get everything set up and make sure our participants feel comfortable with the way thier new heating system works.

Be sure to watch this space for details of our "Go Live" Launch Event planned for early September.