Experimental Evidence on Latency in a Fleet of Controllable Water Heaters

Eve Tsybina, Viswadeep Lebakula, Justin Hill, Jeff Munk, Helia Zandi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Demand response is an important emerging part of smart grids with wide coverage in theoretical and modeling research. However, experimental evidence on the real-life behavior of controllable loads is still limited. We present observations regarding latency and communication aspects of the operation on a fleet of residential water heaters in a smart neighborhood in Atlanta, GA. Our analysis shows that latency in water heaters is not constant and does not follow a Gaussian distribution. We also find that there is a systematic relationship between latency and hour of the day. Latency was found to increase during morning and evening hours compared to the afternoon. These findings could help better plan deployment of control for demand response programs. Understanding delays associated with controlling smart devices is crucial for proper design and algorithm development for optimization, frequency of dispatch, and override detection.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2023
Event2023 IEEE Green Energy and Smart Systems Conference (IGESSC) - Long Beach, California
Duration: 13 Nov 202314 Nov 2023


Conference2023 IEEE Green Energy and Smart Systems Conference (IGESSC)
CityLong Beach, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5600-88534


  • communication delay
  • demand response
  • latency
  • load flexibility
  • smart grid
  • water heaters


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