Introduction to Commercial Building Control Strategies and Techniques for Demand Response

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Demand Response (DR) is a set of time-dependent program activities and tariffs that seek to reduce electricity use or shift usage to another time period. DR provides control systems that encourage load shedding or load shifting during times when the electric grid is near its capacity or electricity prices are high. DR helps to manage building electricity costs and to improve electric grid reliability.This report provides an introduction to commercial building control strategies and techniques for demand response. Many electric utilities have been exploring the use of critical peak pricing (CPP) and other demand response programs to help reduce summer peaks in customer electric loads. This report responds to an identified need among building operators for knowledge to use DR strategies in their buildings. These strategies can be implemented using either manual or automated methods.

The report compiles information from field demonstrations of DR programs in commercial buildings. The guide provides a framework for categorizing the control strategies that have been tested in actual buildings. The guide’s emphasis is on characterizing and describing DR control strategies for air-conditioning and ventilation systems. There is also good coverage of lighting control strategies. The guide provides some additional introduction to DR strategies for other miscellaneous building end-use systems and non-component-based DR strategies. The core information in this report is based on DR field tests in 28 non-residential buildings, most of which were in California, and the rest of which were in New York State. The majority of the participating buildings were office buildings. Most of the California buildings participated in fully automated demand response field tests.

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