PI: Mario Berges
Co-PI(s): Burcu Akinci
University: Carnegie Mellon University

Traditional demand response (DR) has played an important role in the power sector for decades. With an increasing share of variable renewable electricity generation, managing the grid becomes a more challenging task. In recent years, PJM, the interconnection that serves the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has studied the possibility of demand side resources becoming part of the grid-interactive assets that enable this needed operational flexibility. Buildings are particularly well suited to address this due to increasing levels of automation as well as their thermal flexibility allowing for the systems to be loaded and unloaded without affecting their performance.

However, these reliability-based forms of fast DR require novel approaches in automation and increasing levels of transparency of response that were not required in traditional DR. Therefore, in this project, we are partnering with both Bosch Research and Technology Center and CMU’s Pittsburgh campus Facilities Management Services (FMS) to leverage a wide range of aptly equipped testbeds and expertise to evaluate the performance of commercial buildings participating in ancillary services.  In the topic of demand side flexibility, occupancy and thermal comfort play a major role. Therefore, our partnership with Bosch greatly enhances this project by allowing access to vast datasets of occupancy information as well as a non-academic testbed in their Pittsburgh office. In addition, given expressed interest from the FMS team to explore the participation in fast DR, we will build a relationship with the DR program provider to understand the requirements of these services.

As an outcome, we can deliver FMS with an independent evaluation of these DR events. It is our expectation that the products of this project create transparent and reliable demonstrations of buildings providing these ancillary services based on scrutiny of the data we obtain.