A Study on Coordinated Demand Response Control in a Group of Commercial Buildings for Grid Power Balance

Project: Research

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Power supply and demand in a grid must always balance, as real-time imbalance cancause grid instability or even total grid failure. To maintain grid power balance, greatefforts need to be made from the supply side. Nowadays, supply side managementbecomes increasingly costly and technically more difficult as more renewable energy isintegrated. Hence, demand response control, i.e. efforts from the demand side, are widelyaccepted as a better alternative. Demand response control refers to changes in electricusage by end-users in response to electricity price changes, or to designed incentives.As a major energy consumer, commercial buildings play an important role in grid powerbalance. Conventional demand response controls of commercial buildings are conductedin an uncoordinated way. Through peak demand managements, conventional controlsmerely focus on maximizing economic benefits for individual buildings. But the overallresults of a building group (e.g. overall peak demand), which are the main concerns of agrid, are overlooked and cannot be optimized for the actual need of grid power balance.Although grid and building researchers start to realize the limitation of theconventional/uncoordinated controls, no systematic studies have been carried out on acoordinated demand response control. Therefore, this project proposes a study ofcoordinated control for a group of commercial buildings. Two key challenges will beaddressed. The first one is how to quantify ineffectiveness and inefficiency ofconventional controls in relieving grid pressure caused by building peak demand. Due tolack of study, the poor performance of conventional controls has not been fullyunderstood and a better understanding can help improve demand side managementwhich leads to benefits for grid power balance. The second one is how to coordinatedemand response controls in a group of buildings for improved effectiveness andefficiency in relieving grid pressure caused by building peak demand. The project will becarried out through systematic simulation using operation data from real buildings. Asemi-physical test bed will be constructed for the reliability and stability tests of thedeveloped control.The outputs will enable a better understanding on the limitation of the conventionalcontrols which leads to better demand side management. The proposed coordinateddemand response control can relieve the grid pressure in an effective and efficient way.Eventually, the outputs shall bring substantial benefits to cost reduction of supply sidemanagement, to improvement of grid power balance, and to less impact on theenvironment.


Project number9048038
Grant typeECS
Effective start/end date1/01/1625/05/20

    Research areas

  • Coordinated demand response,HVAC system,peak demand limiting,commercial building group,