Balancing between energy, comfort and money: in control of residential electric tank water heaters

Alexander Belov

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    125 Downloads (Pure)


    These days residential electricity consumers are getting more involved into the energy market and in management of their own demand. Although much progress the last years was done in direction of management of electricity demand on the consumer’s side, Demand Response (DR) programs have not yet become very popular. An example of DR is adapting the start and end times of household appliances in response to variable electricity prices or to avoid a peak demand in the grid. However, such an adapted operation of domestic appliances may not always be convenient for residents. Despite possible energy and money savings, new operation can heavily interfere with occupants’ lifestyles so that they might refrain to participate in DR.

    The motivation of our research is to increase the acceptance of efficient DR systems by involving consumers in the management of their own electricity consumption. Our assumption is that once a regular consumer can consciously decide how much comfort a modified use of energy can cost him, and on the other hand how much savings it can bring him, he/she will take more responsibility in managing personal energy needs. The aim of the study is to explore how residential consumers can participate in DR with minimal loss of personal comfort. In this thesis, we investigate how consumer goals such as profit maximization from DR and minimization of end-user comfort conflict with each other, and how they can be unified in DR, looking specifically at an exemplary case of residential electric tank water heaters (WHs).

    In this thesis, we propose a possible solution for WHs that allows a household to maximize energy and money savings for water heating while highly respecting end-user comfort. By finding trade-off(s) between the desired user comfort and the desired level of energy (money) savings, the model creates an appropriate water heating program for the WH for the coming day. Based on simulations, we can conclude that our solution is capable of balancing conflicting consumer goals. Although the mechanism has been simulated on water heating systems (boiler), the method can also be applied to other equipment in households.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Havinga, Paul J.M., Supervisor
    Award date7 Oct 2020
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-5067-3
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2020


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