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Ancillary Service to the Grid Through Control of Fans in Commercial Building HVAC Systems

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5 Author(s)
He Hao ; Dept. of Mech. & Aerosp. Eng., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA ; Yashen Lin ; Kowli, A.S. ; Barooah, P.
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The thermal storage potential in commercial buildings is an enormous resource for providing various ancillary services to the grid. In this paper, we show how fans in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems of commercial buildings alone can provide substantial frequency regulation service, with little change in their indoor environments. A feedforward architecture is proposed to control the fan power consumption to track a regulation signal. The proposed control scheme is then tested through simulations based on a calibrated high fidelity non-linear model of a building. Model parameters are identified from data collected in Pugh Hall, a commercial building located on the University of Florida campus. For the HVAC system under consideration, numerical experiments demonstrate how up to 15% of the rated fan power can be deployed for regulation purpose while having little effect on the building indoor temperature. The regulation signal that can be successfully tracked is constrained in the frequency band [1/τ0,1/τ1], where τ0 ≈ 3 minutes and τ1 ≈ 8 seconds. Our results indicate that fans in existing commercial buildings in the U.S. can provide about 70% of the current national regulation reserve requirements in the aforementioned frequency band. A unique advantage of the proposed control scheme is that assessing the value of the ancillary service provided is trivial, which is in stark contrast to many demand-response programs.

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Smart Grid, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 4 )