ASI Supports Automated Demand Response
California’s updated building codes adopted in July, 2014 now require Energy Management and Control Systems (EMCS) installed in new commercial buildings to support automated demand response (ADR) functionality. California’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, Section 120.2 Required Controls for Space Conditioning Systems, sub-section (h) Automatic Demand Shed Controls states that a control system must be able to relax setpoints in all non-critical zones by 4 or more degrees.
The Demand object (DEM) in ASIC/2 and ASIC/3 programmable controllers is easily configured to trigger demand response load reductions by changing zone setpoints. In addition to satisfying CA requirements, this feature helps deliver automated energy cost savings in areas with high demand costs.
An ASI Controls EMCS can also deliver automated demand reductions by duty cycling of package air conditioning units, so that all non-critical units are idled for a short period in a defined rotation. Duty cycling ensures demand response yield during ADR events by limiting the total number of active units even when conditions call for full cooling or heating.
How Do Customers Benefit?
Customers who participate in Automated Demand Response programs typically receive demand and/or energy credits for participating in ADR events. Example ADR programs offered by Southern California Edison in Los Angeles, CA include the Demand Bidding Program and Capacity Bidding Program, where customers are paid credits based on how much energy or capacity they deliver during demand response events. The DBP program pays partial credit for yields of 50% to 90% of the energy (kWh) bid and does not include penalties. The CBP program offers higher potential payouts for yield at or over capacity (kW) bid but also includes financial penalties if a customer comes up short.
ASI Controls Advantages
The complexity of calculating baselines to know if participation will be profitable and the need for manual intervention in the process to trigger load reductions both limited the potential payback of first generation demand response solutions. Today however customers can use the OpenADR protocol to receive a signal via Internet and automatically trigger demand response actions by the energy management system. Incentives and subsidies for OpenADR solutions are available to help pay for a new EMCS or to add functionality to an existing system.
Automation removes the manual step but adds risks, a site may unknowingly initiate demand response with no compensation due to unfavorable baselines or even come up short and face a penalty. An ASI Controls EMCS can be programmed to calculate hourly site-specific baselines and use a local weather forecast to predict hourly site loads to display if the default baseline or an adjusted baseline would be most profitable. This feature helps users to maximize returns and minimize the risk of penalties.
ASI systems can also generate automated notifications for future peak demand events complete with cost estimates and a link to a local weather forecast. In a simple case the notification tells a facility energy manager that a peak will be set in 30 minutes, if it’s early in a bill period with a heat wave coming there’s no point in trying to enforce an artificially low peak for the month so the facility manager can override the limit now and avoid unnecessary discomfort. With convenient access to load and weather forecasts and cost estimates based on actual rates customers can make more informed decisions.
An OpenADR client device, the Universal Devices iSY994i, was added to the ASI Controls price list to provide an OpenADR 2.0 (b) interface for ASI Controls EMS systems. The device can interface to the EMCS via controller inputs to trigger demand reductions. Requiring an OpenADR interface for a commercial building is a step on the road to an eventual SmartGrid where buildings pay for demand and energy based on real-time market conditions, and can also potentially sell demand response yield back to the grid.
Energy Management Cost Savings – Training
ASI Controls wants to help you deliver automated demand response and energy cost optimization solutions. We can help customers understand rate plans to find the best opportunities for payback, teach controls techs how to use ASI Controls energy cost control features, turn site survey data into strategies and payback estimates, and more. Slides from an ASI Controls Energy Cost Control Sales Training can be downloaded here.
The current slides incorporate electrical rates for Los Angeles, CA but we can provide slides with utility rates for your service area, wherever you are. We can also create an Excel spreadsheet you can use to estimate cost savings and calculate payback based on the electricity rates in your areas, identify opportunities to move to a more favorable tariff, and analyze the potential for solar, advanced energy storage, or thermal energy storage.
Interactive web training and classroom sessions focusing on automated energy cost control can be arranged by contacting ASI Technical support.