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FlexTECC: Flexible Timing of Energy Consumption in Communities

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July 2018 to June 2021

PI: Bianca Howard

Funded by: ESPRC Innovation Fellowship

Partners and stakeholders:

TREND Controls

Contact

Introduction

The development and use of intelligent autonomous controllers will unlock significant demand response potential by enable building’s heating ventilation and cooling systems to proactively participate in energy markets. The FlexTECC fellowship seeks to implement and validate, in virtual and physical testbeds, a new decentralised control strategy to enable collections of buildings to provide sustained demand reductions.

Summary

Incorporating demand flexibility through smart HVAC controls can reduce overall energy demand, increase the efficiency of grid operations, minimise the use of high carbon generators and increase the uptake of renewable energy sources. The optimal use of demand response can contribute 40 billion pounds in efficiency savings to the electricity grid. This potential has yet to be achieved, however, as it requires a re-envisioning of the energy system and new developments in building system intelligence.

This innovation fellowship aims to jump start this transformation by developing new techniques to enable buildings to operate efficiently and provide services to the broader energy system. The FlexTECC control strategy will use a decentralised model predictive control framework to imbue buildings with the capability to minimise their own energy consumption but also offer their flexibility to an aggregator that can maximise the collective revenue. The decentralised approach is needed to minimise the problem complexity, provide autonomy to individual buildings and to enable a liberalised flexibility market.

The three-year fellowship will result in a tested and experimentally validated control algorithm that can minimise the energy consumption of an individual building but also provide energy services to the grid. Further, the market potential will also be assessed, providing knowledge to future aggregators on how to select buildings and energy markets that will maximise the overall revenue.

Events

Will hold a workshop on Flexible Cities with academic and industry stakeholders in 2020.

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