We turn your water heater into an
active asset for frequency regulation

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Our hardware and cloud-based software solution seamlessly
controls your water heater.

 
 

How It Works

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step 1:
installation

Load control system is installed on the water heater (20 min process, retrofitted or new construction) and a wifi connection is established to Fleetcommander™ in the cloud.

Step 2:
U.S. Power Grid signal

As power producers hop on and off of the power grid, frequency spikes are created for short periods of time. The regional grid operators (PJM) will pay to find offset those spikes. Every 2 seconds, Fleetcommander™ receives a signal from the grid indicating a need for stabilization.

Step 3:
Frequency Regulation

Within milliseconds, Fleetcommander™ surveys a portfolio of water heaters and balances the fleet according to market needs. Fleetcommander™ prioritizes hot water access over market participation. 

Step 4:
Shared Revenue

Grid operators pay Armada Power based on the amount of balancing delivered with a premium for speed and accuracy. Property owners share in this revenue stream and receive a quarterly check from Armada for use of water heaters for grid services.

 

What is Frequency Regulation?

 
 

The electric power grid transmits power from a generator to the end user using Alternating Current (AC), which oscillates at a specific frequency (typically 60 Hz for the Americas, and 50 Hz for Europe and Asia). A gap between power generation and usage causes the grid frequency to change. If demand is higher than supply, the frequency will fall, leading to brownouts and blackouts. If utilities generate more power than consumers are using, the frequency goes up, potentially damaging the grid or the electric devices plugged into it. 

Recently, rapid fluctuations in the grid have increased because of the increasing penetration of highly variable renewable resources (like wind and solar) and increased variability of demand on the customer side.

As a result, grid operators (utility companies and regional transmission authorities) have to continually balance energy supply and demand in order to maintain power frequency within tight frequency tolerance limits. 

Frequency regulation is the constant second-by-second adjustment of power to maintain grid frequency at 60 Hz to ensure grid stability. 

 

Today, frequency regulation is managed by grid operators who rely on generating resources like natural gas generators that ramp up or down to support changes in supply and demand. Generating resources take minutes to ramp up or down, limiting the amount of regulation they can provide at any given time. For this reason regulation is typically provided by maintaining numerous generators on standby, which is inefficient and costly.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recognized the need for faster responding resources and implemented a pay-for-performance rule which pays a premium for these resources.

Demand-side resources and storage assets have been recognized as assets that can be actively managed to provide these services. Frequency regulation services can be bought, sold and traded, just like any other commodity. Armada Power allows water heater owners to participate in the frequency regulation market. Unlike most demand management solutions, it uses real-time, two-way communication to make micro-adjustments in the energy demand of your hot water heaters. By cycling energy demand up and down in seconds rather than minutes or hours, it helps utilities regulate power frequency more precisely without any noticeable impact on end users. 

By making small adjustments across thousands of devices, Armada Power helps grid operators control overall demand and reduce the need for additional power generation capacity. Most importantly, it allows water heater owners to participate in the frequency regulation market and turn a passive asset into extra cash.

 
 

 
 

Armada Power responds to PJM's RegD signal to
demonstrate frequency regulation services in Hawaii