Ten Questions Concerning Integrating Smart Buildings into the Smart Grid
Lawrence, Thomas M. × Boudreau, Marie-Claude # Helsen, Lieve # Henze, Gregor # Mohammadpour, Javad # Noonan, Doug # Patteeuw, Dieter # Pless, Shanti # Watson, Richard T. #
Building and Environment vol:108 pages:273-283
Recent advances in information and communications technology (ICT) have initiated development of a smart electrical grid and smart buildings. Buildings consume a large portion of the total electricity production worldwide, and to fully develop a smart grid they must be integrated with that grid. Buildings can now be ‘prosumers’ on the grid (both producers and consumers), and the continued growth of distributed renewable energy generation is raising new challenges in terms of grid stability over various time scales. Buildings can contribute to grid stability by managing their overall electrical demand in response to current conditions. Facility managers must balance demand response requests by grid operators with energy needed to maintain smooth building operations. For example, maintaining thermal comfort within an occupied building requires energy and, thus an optimized solution balancing energy use with indoor environmental quality (adequate thermal comfort, lighting, etc.) is needed. Successful integration of buildings and their systems with the grid also requires interoperable data exchange. However, the adoption and integration of newer control and communication technologies into buildings can be problematic with older legacy HVAC and building control systems. Public policy and economic structures have not kept up with the technical developments that have given rise to the budding smart grid, and further developments are needed in both technical and non-technical areas.