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UK re-opens upgraded Living Lab for smart home innovation trials

The relaunched lab will be used to integrate and test services and business models with mainstream smart heating controls, smart meters, IoT devices, and electric vehicle chargers.

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The lab wants to help understand user behaviours and responses to technologies
The lab wants to help understand user behaviours and responses to technologies

Energy Systems Catapult has relaunched an upgraded Living Lab of connected homes and is calling on energy innovators to join its test and demonstration project for digital home energy.

 

The aim is for Living Lab 2.0 to provide national capability to test and demonstrate energy innovations, market arrangements, policy and regulations with real consumers in a safe, affordable, shared space, where they can also be de-risked and scaled-up for market.

 

Digital integration platform

 

Living Lab 2.0 has been backed by the UK government’s Council for Science & Technology (CST) with a new digital integration platform, alongside other improvements.

 

Catapult said it is particularly interested in speaking to electric vehicle (EV) smart charging companies wishing to launch or scale new products, to join the likes of leading smart home firm, tado°, which has installed its zonal heating controls into a “significant number” of Living Lab homes.

 

“The Living Lab is a national asset that provides energy innovators with a safe, affordable, shared space to the test, demonstrate, de-risk and scale-up,” said Rebecca Sweeney, Energy Systems Catapult business lead for the Living Lab.

 

“During lockdown we have invested in a new digital integration platform that enables us to quickly and easily install both new innovations and off-the-shelf products.”

 

She continued: “The digital integration platform is like a universal adapter, offering interoperability – physically, digitally, and commercially – between the smart heating control systems and IoT devices being used by Living Lab homes.

“The Living Lab is a national asset that provides energy innovators with a safe, affordable, shared space to the test, demonstrate, de-risk and scale-up”

“Data from these in-home devices can be streamed and analysed by our data scientists, while our consumer insights team is available to provide a richer picture of how the people within the Living Lab are interacting with the innovative products and service.

 

According to Catapult, the upgraded Living Lab, with new digital integration platform developed by SysMech, enables:

  • energy suppliers to trial energy service propositions with mainstream smart home controls
  • products to be installed quickly and easily into homes using the new digital integration platform to ensure interoperability
  • access to a wealth of consumer and technical data, to rapidly design, market-test and launch smart energy innovations
  • behind-the-meter flexibility to be tested
  • testing of the value of new business models with real consumers.

The relaunch follows CST naming the Living Lab as a key place to run “trials and experimentation to understand user behaviours and responses to technologies, particularly as the use of decentralised and digitalised technology changes the energy system”.

 

The Living Lab said it will also work with innovators to provide insights and evidence to government and regulators to influence new market arrangements, policies and regulations to ensure UK business can capitalise on clean growth as we accelerate efforts to decarbonise the UK energy system.

 

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