Energy flexibility quantification of a tropical net-zero office building using physically consistent neural network-based model predictive control

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Journal Article

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Building energy flexibility plays a critical role in demand-side management for reducing utility costs for building owners and sustainable, reliable, and smart grids. Realizing building energy flexibility in tropical regions requires solar photovoltaics and energy storage systems. However, quantifying the energy flexibility of buildings utilizing such technologies in tropical regions has yet to be explored, and a robust control sequence is needed for this scenario. Hence, this work presents a case study to evaluate the building energy flexibility controls and operations of a net-zero energy office building in Singapore. The case study utilizes a data-driven energy flexibility quantification workflow and employs a novel data-driven model predictive control (MPC) framework based on the physically consistent neural network (PCNN) model to optimize the building energy flexibility. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first instance that PCNN is applied to a mathematical MPC setting, and the stability of the system is formally proved. Three scenarios are evaluated and compared: the default regulated flat tariff, a real-time pricing mechanism, and an on-site battery energy storage system (BESS). Our findings indicate that incorporating real-time pricing into the MPC framework could be more beneficial to leverage building energy flexibility for control decisions than the flat-rate approach. Moreover, adding BESS to the on-site PV generation improved the building self-sufficiency and the PV self-consumption by 17% and 20%, respectively. This integration also addresses model mismatch issues within the MPC framework, thus ensuring a more reliable local energy supply. Future research can leverage the proposed PCNN-MPC framework for different data-driven energy flexibility quantification types.


Advances in Applied Energy



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