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Dimplex Quantum - Does OVO supports this "Remote control by the utility"?


I have just had a Dimplex Quantum water cylinder installed which I plan to use on Economy 7. I don't have a separate off-peak supply, so one option is to use the timer (if I can verify the off-peak times). However, the manual states that "The water can be controlled by the utility via the
RF module installed". I assume from the manual that this means it will automatically switch on and off as defined "by the utility". Does anybody know if OVO supports this and if so how it works and if it needs to be enabled by OVO?

Paddy
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Best answer by Bumblebee 30 July 2018, 12:04

@paddyf

Good morning,

I'm pretty sure it relates to these devices (As reviewed in this online article)

However if that does not solve the mystery, give Dimplex a call, there should be a number with your user manual

Please let me know how you get on 🙂

Best wishes,

Bumblebee 🙂

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/27/smart-thermostats-reviewed-which-can-save-you-most

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@paddyf

Good morning,

I'm pretty sure it relates to these devices (As reviewed in this online article)

However if that does not solve the mystery, give Dimplex a call, there should be a number with your user manual

Please let me know how you get on 🙂

Best wishes,

Bumblebee 🙂

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/27/smart-thermostats-reviewed-which-can-save-you-most
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Hey @paddyf - did you mean to create two topics on this? There's another one here.
Nancy,
No, I created the other one in the wrong area and couldn't find how to delete it.

Paddy
Replying to Bumblebee,
Thanks. From this manual and the Quantum Storage heater manuals which have the same function, it implies direct control of off peak usage from the energy supplier, but I cant find anything much about it. I think you might be right that Dimplex should know how it works, but I still need to find out of OVO supports it.

Paddy
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Leave it with me my friend, I will do some digging 🙂

Please chase up Dimplex at your end, 🙂 Let's see if we can solve the mystery!

Best wishes,

Bumblebee 🙂
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paddyf wrote:

Nancy,
No, I created the other one in the wrong area and couldn't find how to delete it.

Paddy



Would you like me to delete it?
Nancy,
yes please if you could.

Paddy
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No worries @paddyf - I've closed the other topic.
I had a callback from Dimplex today and apparently, the "RF Module" is for future functionality not yet released to allow setting of temperatures etc from a smartphone. They are looking at remote control from the utility, but he could not give a timescale, or even confirm that it would ever happen.

Paddy
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Thanks for keeping us updated @paddyf!
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I think the phrase you quoted, automatically switch on and off as defined "by the utility" is important, @paddyf.

There are three technologies this could be referring to

A. Proprietary Smart Home functionality, such as Hive, Nest etc.

B. Distributed electricity network management such as OVO's VCharge system. There are already tower-blocks in the UK with remote control of electric space-heating using this method. Costs are lowered because VCharge takes account of peak-demand periods, weather forecasts etc.

C. The forthcoming SMETS2 Smart Meters. These have the capability to send commands to other devices within the home which are connected as Auxilliary Load Control Switches (ALCS).

These might be heaters, washing machines, EV chargers, all of which could be configured to run when electricity prices are lower at different times of the day.


It seems to me that Dimplex are leaving their options open by creating a water cylinder which can later be connected to a number of different control systems. That's a prudent commercial move.
I think they are looking at something like B, or C. Personally, I believe Economy 7 will be gone as we know it within 10 years. It came about to help maintain a base load for Nuclear and Coal fired power stations that could not be turned off easily when demand dropped at night. As coal disappears and wind and solar increase, there will be less need to maintain a base load and excess generation will depend more on the weather. This will be exacerbated by electric cars charging overnight, which could make night time electricity the most expensive. Therefore electricity companies will need to move to a system where things like storage and water heaters (EV Chargers as you describe them) come on when the utility company signals it has excess power at a cheaper rate. i.e. When the sun shines and the wind blows.

My question is who is going to take the lead? The electricity companies, or heating suppliers like of Dimplex? Both need to play their part and I don't want to have to buy a completely new heating system because of changes in the generation system. Hence, I am hoping that this "RF Module" (which I was told can be retrofitted) will let me take advantage of what ever happens in the future.

Paddy
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Hi again @paddyf. I agree with some of your observations, such as the demise of Economy7, but not others, such as the need to maintain base load.

The "lead" on this has already been made several years ago.

Ofgem and the UK Government are pursuing a new energy strategy called Demand Side Response. You can download an excellent PDF of a Powerpoint Presentation on this written by two government advisors from Dept Energy (DECC) in 2014.

The Smart Meters using SMETS2 protocols, which are starting to be installed, are at the heart of this.

These SMETS2 meters are widely known as achieving interoperability between Energy Suppliers, but they are actually far more fully-featured than this.

I wrote a background about this here on the Forum 6 months back, which you may now want to read.
Thanks @Transparent. I think the point is that the way power is generated and when it is used is changing, so things are going to have to be more flexible. I think some power suppliers are already breaking up their 7 hour time slot. Also, at the moment, I am struggling to find out my 7 hour off-peak time slot from OVO.

I had come across Demand Side Response, but was not sure if was just for large companies at the moment. I currently have a SMETS1 meter with a ZigBee gateway. From the PowerPoint, it looks like this would support at least some DSR functionality if that could be enabled by OVO.

Paddy
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Hi @paddyf. Demand Side Response is targeted at domestic electricity customers.

To implement the strategy there will need to be a combination of
  • a half-hour variable tariff
  • an App to instruct your Energy Supplier of your preferences
  • some choices of energy input
  • some choices of loads you wish to control

I think this will take a while to come together. And by that time the market will be predominantly SMETS2, so I doubt anyone will offer a scheme with reduced functionality for SMETS1 meters.

It's no mean feat to develop a tariff structure which can handle all the variables. OVO have a head-start due their current use of VCharge which has inputs from grid-loading and weather.

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