Unified Control of Connected Loads to Provide Grid Services, Novel Energy Management, and Improved Energy Efficiency

The overarching goal of the project is to develop, deploy, and demonstrate retrofit control technology that increases the operational flexibility of loads in commercial buildings to improve energy efficiency, reduce peak demand, and reduce energy losses. The traditional electric grid is load-following and is based on centralized generation assets that are controlled to compensate for load changes in order to maintain a stable grid. Today only minimal control of demand-side loads exists. Higher penetration of renewables and distributed energy resources, with their uncontrollable generation variability, imposes significant grid stability and control challenges. Demand-side control techniques are expected to address these challenges by increasing reliability and stability, reducing reserve margins, reducing peak demand, and improving energy efficiency. This project will address future grid challenges by engaging loads in commercial buildings and small footprint supermarkets to reduce energy consumption, reduce energy intensity, and provide grid-responsive control.

The project's objectives will address the primary challenges in the future grid by developing retrofit compatible control technology that can be widely deployed in commercial buildings and small footprint supermarkets.  The proposed three-year project will:

  • Characterize energy consuming devices within buildings to identify opportunities for energy efficiency, reducing energy losses due to equipment faults, and responding to grid needs and requirements
  • Develop a whole-building supervisory control system that operates building equipment to improve energy efficiency, reduce peak demand, and provide grid response
  • Develop advanced data analytics to perform fault-detection and diagnosis of Heating Ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and refrigeration systems
  • Deploy the developed algorithms and data analytics