Comparison of Demand Response Performance with an EnergyPlus Model in a Low Energy Campus Building
We have studied a low energy building on a campus of the University of California. It has efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, consisting of a dual-fan/dual-duct variable air volume (VAV) system. As a major building on the campus, it was included in two demand response (DR) events in the summers of 2008 and 2009. With chilled water supplied by thermal energy storage in the central plant, cooling fans played a critical role during DR events. In this paper, an EnergyPlus model of the building was developed and calibrated. We compared both whole-building and HVAC fan energy consumption with model predictions to understand why demand savings in 2009 were much lower than in 2008. We also used model simulations of the study building to assess pre-cooling, a strategy that has been shown to improve demand saving and thermal comfort in many types of building. This study indicates a properly calibrated EnergyPlus model can reasonably predict demand savings from DR events and can be useful for designing or optimizing DR strategies.