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Potential Demand Reduction from Buildings in a Simulated Utility...

by Brett C Bass, Joshua R New
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the ACM BuildSys conference UrbSys Workshop
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 5
Conference Name
ACM BuildSys 2019
Conference Location
New York, New York, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Association of Computing Machinery (ACM)
Conference Date

The availability of large-area sensing, scalable algorithms, and high-performance computing has enabled the possibility of urban-scale building energy modeling using new methods not limited to the scalability of manual building energy model creation or retrieval of county-by-county tax assessor’s data. Automatic Building detection and Energy Model creation (AutoBEM) has created 178,368 building energy models for the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga, TN, and compared simulation performance to 15-minute data from each building. These models leverage several data sources (e.g. imagery, GIS, utility), software tools to extract building properties (e.g. footprint, height, façade type, window-to-wall ratio, occupancy, building type), simulate at scale on two of the world’s #1 fastest supercomputers, and provide web-based visual analytics.

Grid-interactive efficient buildings offer the potential to reduce utility and rate-payer energy costs during each calendar month’s hour of critical generation – when the least efficient, most costly, and often dirtiest generation assets must be brought online. In this paper, EnergyPlus is used to simulate over 150,000 buildings to assess the technical potential of utility-controlled smart thermostats. This is analyzed under a couple scenarios leveraging buildings as thermal batteries via pre-conditioning to coast through peak hours. Results are provided in box and whisker plots assessing the distribution of peak demand reduction at the utility-scale along with breakouts of energy and demand savings by building type and vintage.