Many assets that are normally installed during an energy-efficient building retrofit can also be used to provide flexible services to the electricity grid. By turning off or turning down some mechanical systems during peak times, it is possible for a building to reduce its load on the electricity network. A field demand response event was simulated at a leisure center in Ireland to evaluate the suitability of the site to participate in the Irish demand response market, to assess how much flexibility it can provide, how much the indoor conditions changed during the test, and to examine whether these remained within satisfactory limits. A survey was conducted to determine whether the occupants perceived any changes to their thermal comfort. The simulation was achieved by identifying non-critical mechanical equipment and turning them off for 2 h. A processing station for demand response and energy monitoring delivered the demand response signal to the site’s building management system. The results show that this site had a flexibility potential of 45 kW, which is considered too low to participate in the demand response market, as Irish aggregators favor sites that can offer over 250-kW flexibility. However, the indoor thermal conditions remained within reasonable ranges and the occupants did not notice the impact of the demand response event. This shows that theoretically, if smaller sites were allowed to sell their flexibility to the electricity market, such leisure centers could participate in demand response services without impacting occupants’ comfort.
11th International Conference on Improving Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings and Smart Communities (IEECB&SC’20)
Impact of demand response on thermal comfort for a Leisure Centre