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RESEARCH PAPERS

Energy and Cost Minimal Control of Active and Passive Building Thermal Storage Inventory

[+] Author and Article Information
Gregor P. Henze

 University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Architectural Engineering, Omaha, Nebraska 68182-0681

J. Sol. Energy Eng 127(3), 343-351 (Jan 21, 2005) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1877513 History: Received September 24, 2004; Revised January 21, 2005

In contrast to building energy conversion equipment, less improvement has been achieved in thermal energy distribution, storage and control systems in terms of energy efficiency and peak load reduction potential. Cooling of commercial buildings contributes significantly to the peak demand placed on an electrical utility grid and time-of-use electricity rates are designed to encourage shifting of electrical loads to off-peak periods at night and on weekends. Buildings can respond to these pricing signals by shifting cooling-related thermal loads either by precooling the building’s massive structure (passive storage) or by using active thermal energy storage systems such as ice storage. Recent theoretical and experimental work showed that the simultaneous utilization of active and passive building thermal storage inventory can save significant amounts of utility costs to the building operator, yet increased electrical energy consumption may result. The article investigates the relationship between cost savings and energy consumption associated with conventional control, minimal cost and minimal energy control, while accounting for variations in fan power consumption, chiller capacity, chiller coefficient-of-performance, and part-load performance. The model-based predictive building controller is employed to either minimize electricity cost including a target demand charge or electrical energy consumption. This work shows that buildings can be operated in a demand-responsive fashion to substantially reduce utility costs with marginal increases in overall energy consumption. In the case of energy optimal control, the reference control was replicated, i.e., if only energy consumption is of concern, neither active nor passive building thermal storage should be utilized. On the other hand, cost optimal control suggests strongly utilizing both thermal storage inventories.

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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Isometric view of office building

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Figure 2

Weekday occupancy and lighting schedule

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Figure 3

Central chilled water plant configuration

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Figure 4

Diurnal COP variation for both chilled water and icemaking chillers

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Figure 5

Diurnal capacity variation for both chilled water and icemaking chillers

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Figure 6

Fraction of full-load power as a function of part-load ratio for the investigated chiller type

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Figure 7

Cooling load development for 10-day cycle of identical daily weather pattern

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Figure 8

Average zone temperature profiles

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Figure 9

Active storage state-of-charge profiles

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Figure 10

Building cooling load profiles

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Figure 11

Total building electrical demand profiles

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Figure 12

Total hourly building operating cost profiles

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Figure 13

Hourly HVAC operating cost profiles

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