tools for improving energy efficiency in buildings
Buildings are increasingly technologically sophisticated; however, a transactive approach and platform to coordinate energy systems allowing building owners and grid service providers to participate in a shared energy economy that efficiently utilizes and conserves resources, as well as deliver energy-efficiency services, has yet to be attained.
homes and commercial buildings account for 40 percent of total primary energy consumption
Manufacturers of building equipment and appliances have developed proprietary platforms that provide limited forms of transactive communication and interfaces, however these platforms are narrowly applied and are not compatible with equipment and appliances from other manufacturers.
Distributed control and sensing software platforms are designed to manage a wide range of applications, including HVAC systems, electric vehicles, distributed-energy and whole building loads. Software agents allow communication between the power grid and physical devices or systems in a building to coordinate energy use and shift energy loads to off-peak times; also, communication between devices within a building and between buildings to facilitate the delivery of energy-efficiency services to buildings.
best practices for use in the small and medium-sized commercial buildings market
Transactional Energy integrates the concepts of transaction-based energy and transaction-based control with a market platform whereby:
transactions are negotiated exchanges of products, services, and rights enabling value allocations;
controls are means of executing transactions through automatic control of building equipment and other energy systems in response to data and value streams;
applications include capabilities, such as mobility, communications, autonomy and self-organization. Transaction-based energy is a structure that combines information, data and energy infrastructure to enable energy-based transactions and services for energy providers and customers and balance all energy needs against available resources.
Transaction-based frameworks describe the digital infrastructure, hardware and communications network that enables the trade of goods and services between participating parties, leading to a better use of available resources and a more efficient power system.
Building diagnostic and controls, primarily in the commercial buildings sector, are being developed and deployed, with application-based systems implementing strategies, that increase efficiency levels while improving resource allocation. Building controls and algorithms can also be part of retrofits in existing buildings, resulting in energy savings over time through improved operation and maintenance.
The introduction of sensors and controls, as well as information technology and communication protocols between the buildings and the electric grid, has led to digitized sensing, metering, controls and communication. This smart grid revolution is adding intelligence to the energy ecosystem, allowing power generators and grid operators to see the system at unprecedented levels of granularity. Added to these developments is the proliferation of photovoltaic cells, small-scale natural gas generators, as well as other distributed generation sources; giving building owners additional opportunities to reduce their energy costs and increase the reliability of their supply.
buildings as dispatchable assets that absorb fluctuations of intermittent renewable energy
Transaction-based building controls realize benefits by enabling automatic, market-based intra-building efficiency optimizations on a larger scale and beyond via interactions between various components in a complex energy system controlled by negotiating immediate and contingent contracts on a regular basis in addition to the conventional command and control pattern.
Existing buildings retrofits with transaction-based automatic fault detection and diagnostics and controls technologies on various types of commercial equipment provide insights into current and projected energy use, comfort preferences of tenants and generation capacity from distributed resources. This added technology base fulfills two main purposes:
owners and tenants benefit from the diagnostics, commissioning and retuning capabilities;
sensing and metering technology provide building-specific advice to owners, outlining return on investments and timescales for efficiency upgrades or calculate energy wasted per year.
Transaction-based controls provide specific advice for occupants willing to trade comfort and convenience by adjusting thermostat settings by letting temperatures fluctuate within a pre-determined band and getting compensated for the change:
End-user services include building diagnostics and valuations, which support the operations and maintenance of end-use assets while managing overall customer comfort and convenience.
Market services support the efficient utilization of resources and assets by helping customers modify their energy consumption behavior through mechanisms such as time-of-use and real-time pricing.
Grid services include ancillary or regulatory services, such as equipment power quality related performance modification that buildings could provide using transactive mechanisms, with compensation through new contracts or tariffs.
Social services may include participation in energy efficiency or emissions cap-and-trade markets using transactive mechanisms.