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Automated Demand Response Cuts Commercial Building Energy Use and Peak Demand (TB-31)

 California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research Program

Automated demand-response (AutoDR) systems use Internet-based electricity pricing and demand-response signals to initiate preprogrammed control strategies that provide fully automated management of building energy use. When electricity prices are high or when the grid is nearing full capacity, these control strategies reduce electric loads. In this way, AutoDR increases the reliability of the electric grid while reducing the need to use backup electric generators or to build new power plants.

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The Problem

Commercial buildings are major drivers of peak electric demand, particularly in summer. If peak demand exceeds available supply on hot days, brownouts and blackouts can occur throughout a region. Utilities keep electric generators on-line throughout the year just to meet high demand during peak hours—a solution that wastes energy and increases air pollution. Demand-response tariffs and programs help to reduce peak loads by temporarily reducing electricity use. The efficacy and acceptance of demand-response programs have historically been limited by their dependence on human intervention, a limited understanding of building controls, and a lack of appropriate communication technology.

The Solution

Reliable Controls Automated demand-response (AutoDR) systems use Internet based electricity pricing and demand-response signals to initiate preprogrammed control strategies that provide fully automated management of building energy use. When electricity prices are high or when the grid is nearing full capacity, these control strategies reduce (or “shed”) electric loads. In this way, AutoDR increases the reliability of the electric grid while reducing the need to use backup electric generators or to build new power plants. Since 2003, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have been conducting field tests through the Public Interest Energy Research Demand-Response Research Center to develop the ability of AutoDR to alert large commercial buildings about demand-response signals. The tests have helped researchers to understand which demand-response strategies can be effectively automated and to determine the feasibility of sending common signals to large facilities. Tests were conducted in a variety of sites, including office buildings, post offices, museums, and high schools. Throughout five years of testing, various types of communication technology were integrated into each site’s energy-management and control system (EMCS). Results of the tests show that AutoDR-enabled buildings can achieve an average peak demand reduction of 10 to 14 percent (Table 1).

For the complete article follow this link

http://www.esource.com/esource/getpub/public/pdf/cec/CEC-TB-31_AutoDR.pdf

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