Challenges and Opportunities for Intelligent Operations in Commercial Buildings

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 9:30am - 10:20am
Lind 305
Jim Braun (Purdue University)
Compared to other energy sectors (e.g., transportation, industrial), there are significant challenges in realizing energy efficiency improvements in buildings due to the structure of the marketplace and the fact that buildings are not mass produced. In particular, intelligent control and diagnostic strategies that can optimize operations have not been widely implemented in buildings because each system tends to be unique and the costs associated with developing and updating specialized software can be prohibitive. Even so, the opportunities for energy and cost savings through optimized operations are very significant and there is renewed interest in capturing these savings. This talk will provide an overview of the barriers and opportunities for intelligent operations in buildings. The general problem of optimal supervisory control with time-of-use and demand charges will be posed and example savings results will be presented for small commercial buildings. A number of general supervisory control and diagnostic strategies and algorithms will be presented that can be embedded within individual controllers to substantially reduce site-specific software engineering costs. The use of modeling, optimization, and testing in the development and evaluation of embedded solutions is critical and will be addressed.