Impact of Elasticity in Domestic Appliances on Aggregate Residential Power Demands
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Power grids in today's developed societies are designed to meet consumer demands in a highly reliable manner. In order to guarantee reliability to consumers, the grid is required to be sized for infrequently occurring demand peaks. The cost of maintaining generation sources that make up the relatively unused capacity of the grid can be extremely high. In addition to high costs, environmental impacts of these sources are also of great concern. In order to serve highly fluctuating peak demands, energy sources such as coal, gas and bio-gas are commissioned by utilities. These sources have a high carbon footprint. In order to prevent wasting extensive amounts of money in maintaining infrequently used grid capacity and causing an adverse environmental impact, a comprehensive study on how elasticity of domestic appliances can be used to reduce the impact of these issues is made. A thorough analysis of appliances in four distinct regions is presented. Significant reduction of peak demands is shown quantitatively for all of the four regions. Based on these positive results, an elasticity based scheme that takes into account user discomfort is proposed for reducing monetary and environmental issues faced by today's utilities.