By: Jeremy House, Technical Support Manager & Associate Product Manager
February 18, 2014

On September 16th, 2013, Anything Weather forecast service predicted a high of 98 °F in Las Vegas. Eager to avoid as much peak demand usage as possible, the NV Energy personnel responsible for managing the NV Energy/BuildingIQ joint demand response pilot decided to schedule a DR event.

They logged into the UISOL DRBizNet Demand Response Management Program and proceeded to configure the time, duration and target kW load drop of the event. This data then appeared in the BuildingIQ client portal for building managers of the combined 920,000 sq ft participating in the event, including the 24-hour, luxury casino M Resort.

The building managers would then assess the impact that participating in this DR event would have on the temperatures and comfort in their most critical zones using the BuildingIQ predictive optimization model. Building managers went on to confirm that their sites would participate in the event. In the case of M Resort, the building manager opted to exclude a zone that contained a premier steakhouse (People eating 70oz steaks tend to produce a lot of heat).

With this confirmation, the load drop was then in the hands of BuildingIQ Predictive Energy Optimization™. The temperature climbed to 97 °F around 1pm. BuildingIQ software had been busy working to shift as much of the cooling load into the morning as possible. Then the event began at 3pm, and the BuildingIQ management software confirmed that every participating zone would reduce their consumption to ensure that each site would hit the kilowatt load drop target.

During the event, automatic meter and baseline comparison confirmed that each building had met the demand response requirements. Building managers reported no negative impact on comfort.

Welcome to the exciting world of automated Demand Response!

This is a typical day in BuildingIQ’s demand response program – integrated, dynamic and results-driven. Over a large number of days just like these, BuildingIQ had an extremely successful first demand response season in 2013. Load drop requirements were exceeded by an average of about 3-4%. In addition, it was required that these drops were achieved with a negligible comfort impact. Over the course of 3 months of demand response events, there were no recorded comfort complaints.

BuildingIQ software achieves these results by building up a sophisticated thermal model of a site as well as an intricate understanding of how minute changes in set-point configuration will affect the thermal conditions in a zone. Effective demand response occurs at the intersection of an accurate thermal model (to shift as much of the cooling load as possible to other pats of the day) and expert zone control (to enable the precision needed during the demand response event).

To extend a tortured analogy –if predictive optimization under normal conditions is mapping a path through a maze-like city, then a demand response event is planning a line through a racetrack. Every touch of the throttle is crucial and changes must produce reactions in real time. Fortunately, BuildingIQ thermal optimization is sophisticated enough to handle rush hour and race time.

In 2014 NV Energy is looking to triple the number of sites participating in the demand response program. BuildingIQ is hoping to increase the frequency, intensity and reliability of Demand Response events. Bring on the heat!