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Innovative energy solutions for the Design Museum





The Design Museum, renowned for promoting innovation and working with emerging technologies, have fittingly installed Powerstar VIRTUE, the leading-edge energy storage solution. This energy solution is at the heart of the museum’s energy strategy, enabling the Design Museum to become one of the first in its sector to adopt demand-side response (DSR) as a cornerstone of its energy management programme.

The museum has a history of promoting sustainable development and design through events and exhibitions, and places design’s role in technological and environmental change at the core of its mission. Owing to these values it is fitting that the organisation has chosen to integrate Powerstar VIRTUE, a market leading energy storage solution, as a key element of its energy strategy.

The Design Museum has seen a smooth increase in prestige since its re-opening in 2016, welcoming over 1.7 million visitors and being awarded the 2018 European Museum of the Year title. However, due to the rising costs of electricity in all industries as a result of Industry 4.0, the museum has experienced significant increases in electricity costs since that re-opening, with average monthly costs rising by almost 30%, leading to annual increases in energy costs of £65,928.

These escalating costs are one of the primary reasons for the installation of Powerstar VIRTUE, and enables the Design Museum to use stored energy at peak times. In turn, this delivers significant energy cost savings as well as partaking in grid balancing contracts to provide flexibility to the grid, and seeking financial benefit for the charity by doing so. The savings generated by Powerstar VIRTUE are projected to be approximately 7% of the annual electricity spend and, when considering the complete project with integrated voltage optimisation technology and revenues from Grid contracts, this rises to 21%. This is a significant financial difference that should enable the Design Museum to reinvest these savings into continuing to provide an exceptional museum experience for all of its visitors.

Thanks to the integrated voltage regulation technology that is present in Powerstar VIRTUE, the Design Museum will benefit from a real-time predictive smart energy algorithm and controller to optimise the site’s energy flow and usage, which will help decrease electrical consumption by an estimated 8.5% and also reduce the site’s CO2 emissions.

Solon Mardapittas, Chief Technical Officer at Powerstar, said: “The installation of Powerstar VIRTUE in the Design Museum is both practical and innovative. The features of Powerstar VIRTUE allow the museum to minimise electricity costs whilst maximising sustainability, which is at the heart of their business. Meanwhile, the unique detail of Powerstar VIRTUE for this project is a fitting addition to the Design Museum, which is home to an iconic display of intricate design work. The system’s interactive display, which provides visual insights into everything from energy usage to maintenance activities, electricity consumption, savings achieved and even charge and discharge cycles, will add to the array of fascinating displays already on show at the museum.”

Brian Reeves, Head of Facilities at the Design Museum, added: “From the outset of our energy management project, the solution-driven focus and flexibility of the team at Powerstar made them the natural partner of choice. Installing a system that sits at the heart of the Design Museum’s energy strategy required a supplier who understood and embraced our goals. The Powerstar VIRTUE solution enables the museum to regain control of both our consumption profile and spiralling costs.”

It is clear that both Powerstar and the Design Museum place a huge importance on innovation and the leading-edge energy solution that is Powerstar VIRTUE will help the Design Museum to achieve its energy reduction aims and continue to provide an outstanding experience to its visitors.

To learn more about Powerstar’s energy solutions, please click here to contact us. Alternatively, you can email the team at or call us on 01142 576 200.

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