Applications of Optimal Building Energy System Selection and Operation
Berkeley Lab has been developing the Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM) for several years. Given load curves for energy services requirements in a building microgrid (μ⋅grid), fuel costs and other economic inputs, and a menu of available technologies, DER-CAM finds the optimum equipment fleet and its optimum operating schedule using a mixed integer linear programming approach. This capability is being applied using a software as a service (SaaS) model. Optimisation problems are set up on a Berkeley Lab server and clients can execute their jobs as needed, typically daily. The evolution of this approach is demonstrated by description of three ongoing projects. The first is a public access web site focused on solar photovoltaic generation and battery viability at large commercial and industrial customer sites. The second is a building CO2 emissions reduction operations problem for a University of California, Davis student dining hall for which potential investments are also considered. And the third, is both a battery selection problem and a rolling operating schedule problem for a large County Jail. Together these examples show that optimization of building μ⋅grid design and operation can be effectively achieved using SaaS.