Harvest System Demonstrates Grid Flexibility Capabilities in California Trial

By 

David Tuft

June 23, 2023

BERKELEY, CA, June 23, 2023 – Harvest Thermal’s cutting-edge thermal battery heating system successfully demonstrated the ability to respond to dynamic grid price signals as a step toward commercializing value-add services for homeowners while modernizing the grid.

The test in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s (LBNL) CalFlexHub project funded by the California Energy Commission showed that most of the Harvest system’s electricity consumption can shift to off-peak times in response to hourly changes in grid prices. Load-shifting behind the meter supports grid decarbonization while enhancing its reliability and lowering costs. The findings were reported in this CalFlexHub newsletter.

Fred Lam, owner, stands in front of Harvest Thermal system that participated in the CalFlexHub test program.

“We are future-proofing home heating and hot water to make homes more sustainable for a livable future,” said Harvest Thermal CEO Jane Melia. “Our customers already save 30-40% on monthly heating bills and now will be able to participate in flexible grid programs with zero changes to comfort or convenience. This approach is the future of home heat pump systems, reducing bills, while being super streamlined and grid friendly. We’re excited to be at the forefront of this massive opportunity to empower consumers and support a cleaner and more reliable electric grid.”

The price signal optimization model that will be embedded into the smart Harvest system enables homeowners to participate in performance-based rebate programs of the future. These programs will be essential for managing a grid with high amounts of renewable electricity and greater customer demand as EVs, heat pumps and other all-electric appliances replace fossil fuels.

The Harvest Pod is the brains of the novel thermal battery system. It operates a single heat pump when the grid is oversupplied with low-cost solar generation and discharges stored heat into the home for domestic hot water and space heat whenever needed. In addition to saving money, the system slashed carbon emissions by 90% compared to gas equipment and 50% compared to standard heat pump systems.

The price-signal optimization test was conducted at two homes in the Bay area over the past winter and spring. Between 60 and 80 percent of peak heating energy demand was shifted off-peak, and energy costs were reduced by 40 to 50 percent compared to conventional heat pumps on PG&E time-of-use rates.

ABOUT HARVEST THERMAL

Harvest Thermal is redesigning home heating and hot water for extraordinary climate impact. Its market-leading thermal battery system cuts carbon emissions by 90% compared to gas equipment and 50% compared to heat pumps without storage. The award-winning, cloud-connected Harvest Pod leverages software, sensors, and controls to dramatically slash carbon emissions, save ⅓ off monthly heating bills, and support a cleaner, cheaper, and more resilient grid. Founded in 2019, Harvest Thermal has received support from the National Science Foundation, the California Energy Commission, Peninsula Clean Energy, and private investors.

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