Oxford University spin-out Mixergy has raised £3.6m of financing to accelerate the development and rollout of its smart hot water tanks.
It comes after National Grid agreed last year to use thousands of the hot water tanks as part of its 2.5GW-strong virtual power plant, combining the units with the flexibility of industrial consumers and battery projects using its demand response software platform FlexPond. According to Mixergy it achieved a market first in being the first hot water product certified to deliver grid balancing services to the National Grid.
The Mixergy tank system combines sensory, Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning technologies to monitor hot water levels in the tank and learn the usage habits of the household so that water volumes are personalised to heat just what is needed at the right time.
By turning on/off when national energy demand misaligns with energy supply, the Mixergy tank can also reduce network strain and make more effective use of renewable electricity generation. This has been achieved through developments in sensing and control along with a software platform, allowing household heating schedules to be optimised across a national network of smart connected hot water tanks, the so-called ‘Internet of Tanks’.
The new investment from Foresight Williams Technology (FWT), Oxford Sciences Innovation, IP Group and Centrica Innovations will support the national rollout of Mixergy tanks with British Gas.
“With recent pledges to transition from natural gas in new build properties by 2025 across Europe along with unprecedented volatility in the UK’s electricity balancing market, Mixergy is well positioned to accelerate the low-carbon transition through relationships with low-cost manufacturing supply chains that cater to a global market,” said Mixergy chief executive Peter Armstrong.
Martin Fiennes, principal at Oxford Sciences Innovation, added: “This investment validates Mixergy’s core product – one that is capable of both delivering direct benefits to the consumer while having a positive net impact on energy consumption.”