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Communal residential laundry washing and drying : Can it provide demand-side electrical load flexibility?

Borg, Simon Paul and Kelly, Nicolas and Markopoulos, Anastasios and Strachan, Paul and Porteous, C. and Sharpe, T. (2011) Communal residential laundry washing and drying : Can it provide demand-side electrical load flexibility? In: 2nd International Conference in Microgeneration and Related Technologies, Glasgow April 4-6 2011, 2011-03-31.

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Changes in lifestyle have led to increased use and ownership rates of domestic appliances resulting in increasing electrical consumption in the residential sector. An important element of this consumption is due to domestic washing and drying of laundry. Given current and predicted ownership rates, the market for drying facilities is still not fully saturated and electrical demand for these functions will therefore increase. This paper looks at energy loads for laundering in high density housing such as blocks of flats and explores the benefits of communal facilities. Benefits of such facilities include reduced high humidity levels and the mitigation of decreased indoor air quality associated with indoor drying of laundry in individual dwellings. However from the perspective of integrating microgeneration into buildings, communal facilities may facilitate increased flexibility in the electrical demand profile, hence better complementing low carbon and localised energy supplies. In order to investigate the possible effects on the electric demand load profile, this paper presents the scenario of a hypothetical housing block and analyses the effect of moving from washing and drying in individual households to communal facilities. The study includes the effects of appliance energy-efficiency improvements and increased ownership rates. Results obtained show that communal laundering is successful in terms of time-shifting and hence lowering of peak electrical demand but is ineffective in reducing consumption.