Chilled Water Storage System and Demand Response at the University of California at Merced
The University of California at Merced is a unique campus that has benefited from intensive efforts to maximize energy efficiency, and has participated in a demand response program for the past two years. Campus demand response evaluations are often difficult because of the complexities introduced by central heating and cooling, non-coincident and diverse building loads, and existence of a single electrical meter for the entire campus. At the University of California at Merced, a two million gallon chilled water storage system is charged daily during off-peak price periods and used to flatten the load profile during peak demand periods. This makes demand response more subtle and challenges typical evaluation protocols. The goal of this research is to study demand response savings in the presence of storage systems in a campus setting. First, University of California at Merced summer electric loads are characterized; second, its participation in two demand response events is detailed. In each event a set of strategies were pre-programmed into the campus control system to enable semi-automated response. Finally, demand savings results are applied to the utility's DR incentives structure to calculate the financial savings under various DR programs and tariffs. A key conclusion to this research is that there is significant demand reduction using a zone temperature set point change event with the full off peak storage cooling in use.