Project Neptune

A technology demonstration project made for Sherbrooke, with the University of Sherbrooke’s best science.

CaSA’s mission is to seek and exploit all available residential energy storage resources, wherever they may be. In Northeastern america, the cold climate provides two excellent opportunities to allow electricity demand modulation thanks to largely prevalent electric space and water heating.  During peak demand hours, CaSA can leverage all the connected assets in order to alleviate demand on the grid, all while ensuring home occupants never have to compromise between comfort and energy savings. In project Neptune, CaSA aims to demonstrate that it can leverage electric domestic water heaters during peak hours without negatively affecting the occupants comfort.

The project’s main objectives are :

  • To install a communicating (Wi-Fi) controller on your electric hot water heater.
  • To configure the Wi-Fi communication of the controller to allow bi-directional communication and data harvesting.
  • To study the various control strategies that provide energy reserves with no impact on occupant’s comfort.
  • To lower the overall energy demand of the house during peak demand hours.

To participate, you must:

  • Live in Sherbrooke
  • Live in the enrolled dwelling and be its main occupant for the 52 weeks that follow project launch.
  • If others live in the enrolled dwelling, have their permission to participate in the project.
  • Own an electric water heater that is less than 8 years old.
  • Have an available Wi-Fi network that will need to remain available for the duration of the project.
What are the participation costs ?

Put simply, none. CaSA will pay for the installation and removal (if you wish) of the water heater controller.

What is expected of me exactly ?

To make sure you understand what the project is about. We’ll send you a questionnaire every 3 months that we’ll ask you to fill online. That’s about it really !

Will I have less hot water or colder water ?

Absolutely not. CaSA’s controller is specifically designed to ensure you never run out of hot water. Energy reserve strategies do not involve that we lower the water temperature of your water heater either.

Will there be plumbing work involved ?

No, the controller is an electrical apparatus that is installed on or near your water heater. There is no plumbing work involved in installing or removing the controller. The controller may remain in your home at the end of the project if you wish it.

What amount of data/bandwidth will be used monthly ?

The controller will use around 75 à 100 Mb a month. It’s a negligible amount for most high-speed internet monthly packages.

What kind of data will you collect ?

Data points collected by the controller include water temperature at various points on the tank, the energy used to heat wataer, date, time, the Wi-Fi signal strenght and your public IP (for debugging purposes). This data is yours and in compliance with CaSA’s own privacy policy, we will never share this data with anyone unless specifically given permission by you. For the purpose of Project Neptune, you are giving CaSA permission to share your data with Natural Resources Canada (CanmetENERGY). This permission expires at the end of the project for data collected after the project completion, but remains in effect for the data collected during the project’s duration.

I have heard that there may be health risks associated with water heaters ?

Controlling water heaters “in the blind”, that is with no concern for water temperature, may occasionally create concern for bacterial growth in the tank of the water heater. Our equipment has been developed to address this concern. Hot water heater control is done throughout Canada, the US and in many European countries with no observed adverse effect.

I have the bi-energy rate and I received notice that my water heater would no longer be part of the program ?

This is a recent decision by Hydro-Sherbrooke that has no link with our demonstration project. You are not prevented to participate in the project even if your water heater has been disconnected by Hydro-Sherbrooke. Project Neptune is not linked or endorsed by Hydro-Sherbrooke.

Official installation and service partner.

Ready to start ?

The questionnaire takes about 5 minutes to complete.
You may want to do this at home as you may require certain information.