Student controls ac with £4.3m energy-saving idea
A WORK experience student has created a computer program which could release £4.3m pounds worth of energy to boost the national grid.
Iain Whiteside, a third year computer-science and maths student at Edinburgh University, was working for free at Flexitricity when he created a program to reduce power use at firms when there is a high demand on the grid's resources e.g. at breakfast time or peak TV evening viewing.
For firms that have signed up to the program, it will remotely turn off air-conditioning and other non-essential systems for brief periods to release more power for domestic use.
The grid will then pay Flexitricity for the power it frees up to be directed elsewhere. The firm estimates the energy it will release could be worth up to £4.3m cash which will be paid by the grid and shared out amongst the firms that sign up with Flexitricity to use the program.
Flexitricity intends to target refrigeration firms, supermarket chains and water companies to benefit from the program. Supermarket giant Tesco has already signed up to pilot the program at one of its stores.
The move will reduce the grid's need to rely on back-up generators to meet demand,
The 21 year-old from Northern Ireland, was awarded with a job at Flexitricity and a £1,000 prize as the UK's most enterprising student.