Direct Load Control is the traditional form of load management in which the electric utility manages the homeowner's power usage during times of peak demand (late afternoon in the summer, early morning in the winter). By cycling heating, ventilation and air conditioning units in the home on and off at regular intervals, the utility can ensure capacity meets demand.
Utilities and energy providers can choose control strategies, control group addresses, and trigger parameters. The system transmits these to radio-controlled switches (called Digital Control Units, or DCUs) installed in the field via a wireless communications system. The Digital Control Units are, in essence, load switches installed at a customer site, typically on an air conditioner or water heater. Each DCU can control multiple loads. They respond either to direct control messages from the utility or can be customer controlled through a local user interface. The DCU actions are stored in non-volatile memory for future reference.
Comverge Technologies, Inc., 23 Vreeland Rd., Suite 160, Florham Park, NJ 07932. Tel: 888-565-5525; Fax: 973-360-2227.