Assessing the performance of uncertainty-aware transactive controls for building thermal energy storage systems

Min Gyung Yu, Gregory S. Pavlak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Energy storage systems provide a wide range of technological approaches to manage the balance between energy supply and demand in the electric grid. With the increasing uncertainty and variability that comes with wide-spread adoption of grid-scale and behind-the-meter renewable energy, it is imperative to develop stochastic operational planning and control approaches that can account for uncertainty in future conditions. Although, coordination of multiple thermal energy storage resources can support the transition to low carbon energy by enabling valuable system flexibility, few stochastic planning and control approaches have been developed for coordinating building-level thermal energy storage resources. In addition, there is also a need to analyze the potential benefits of an aggregator-level stochastic control framework versus applying stochastic planning and controls at each building individually. This work addresses these needs by developing an uncertainty-aware transactive control (UA-Tx) framework for an aggregator to coordinate the thermal energy storage (TES) assets of multiple buildings. A two-stage stochastic optimization framework is formulated for day-ahead energy procurement that considers uncertainty in building occupancy patterns, weather conditions, and real-time energy prices of the following day. In the second stage, possible recourse decisions through modifying TES operation are also considered. The dispatch of TES operational strategies is implemented through transactive controls, which use market mechanisms and customer preferences to achieve changes in building demand. During real-time operation, a local demand response aggregator determines the transactive clearing prices to dispatch the flexibility enabled by TES. Simulation case studies were conducted to demonstrate the capabilities of the uncertainty-aware aggregator control framework compared to the performance of applying intelligent controllers at each individual building. Up to 3.7% energy cost savings were observed for buildings under the UA-Tx aggregator control framework. Other potential benefits of the control approach are also discussed, along with anticipated future extensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116103
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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