U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
Energy-Efficient and Comfortable Buildings Through Multivariate-Integrated Controls Research Project
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently conducting research into energy-efficient and comfortable buildings through multivariate-integrated controls (ECoMIC) because most deployed controls solutions available involve, at best, independently optimally controlled devices and systems for the building elements. Independently controlled solutions do not ensure optimal energy use, and existing buildings often exhibit below optimal performance.
This project seeks to develop control algorithms using a scalable and reconfigurable control system architecture that ensures adequate system reliability in applications. The validation of the system's performance and functionality will be carried out in experimental test beds. The project team will attempt to develop an integrated-control solution that accounts for the interdependencies between building elements and exploits them beneficially to minimize the total energy consumption.
Furthermore, because energy performance is closely tied to occupant comfort, the project will also account for that in developing comprehensive solutions.
Research is being undertaken by the DOE, Philips Electronics North America Corporation, Philips Research North America, Philips Lighting Electronics, Philips Color Kinetics, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The goal of this project is to develop solutions that reduce energy consumption in retrofit and new commercial buildings by developing integrated energy optimization control systems for electric lighting, daylight, and local heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), by exploiting the interdependencies among the variables involved. Occupant comfort considerations will be integrated into the comprehensive solutions.
Benefits and Impacts
Projected energy savings will address a range of climate zones and building types within the commercial buildings space and will be quantified under different scenarios and settings. User comfort will be addressed by setting evaluation criteria.