Powerstar VIRTUE at the Design MuseumThe Design Museum, renowned for promoting innovation and working with emerging technologies, has chosen Powerstar VIRTUE to help it maximise energy efficiencies and decrease electricity costs at its refurbished Kensington venue.

The market leading energy storage solution, developed by UK manufacturer of leading-edge smart energy solutions, Powerstar, will sit 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.

Powerstar VIRTUE is an integrated energy management and microgrid solution that works by capturing the electricity produced by the 100% renewable energy sources the museum already uses and storing it for discharge when required.

The Design Museum, 2018 European Museum of the Year, has welcomed over 1.7 million visitors since re-opening in 2016, and has experienced significant increases in electricity costs since that date, with average monthly costs rising by almost 30%, leading to annual increases in energy costs of £65,928.

The VIRTUE system will enable the museum to use stored energy at peak times, in turn, delivering significant energy cost savings as well as partaking in grid balancing contracts to provide flexibility to the grid, and seeking financial benefit by doing so. The savings generated by the battery energy storage solution is set to be 7% of the annual electricity spend and, when considering the complete project with integrated voltage regulation technology and revenues from Grid contracts, this rises to 21%.

In addition, thanks to Powerstar’s new Energy Optimisation System (EOS), 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 reduce the site’s CO2 emissions.

Powerstar was selected for the project due to the flexible partnership approach it offers, as well as the company’s understanding and allowance for the way a museum operates.

Solon MardapittasSolon 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.”

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Richard Kerr