Buildings’ Energy Flexibility: A Bottom-Up, Multiagent, User-Based Approach to System Integration of Energy Infrastructures to Support the Smart Grid
Using the flexibility within energy generation, distribution infrastructure, renewable energy sources, and the built environment is the ultimate sustainable strategy within the built environment. However, at the moment this flexibility on the building level has yet to be defined. The new IEA Annex 67 is just starting to define this specific flexibility. Our research is aimed at developing, implementing, and evaluating new process control strategies for improving the energy interaction within a building, its environment, and the energy infrastructure by effectively incorporating occupant needs for health (ventilation) and comfort heating/cooling. An integral approach based on general systems theory is used that divides the whole system into different layers from user up to centralized power generation. A bottom-up approach, starting from the user up to the smart grid, offers new possibilities for buildings’ energy flexibility. To make use of the dynamic possibilities offered by the flexibility, new intelligent process control concepts are necessary. Multiagent systems, in combination with building energy management systems, can offer the required additional functionalities. The approach is tested in a case-study building.
KeywordsEnergy flexibility User Smart grid
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