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Clean Energy and Transactive Campus


The CETC transactive control and coordination of building energy loads experiment, represented in this graphic, successfully tested the concept of creating individualized energy markets for buildings. The markets further extend down to actual building zones and devices.

Pioneering regional partnership for grid modernization

CETC, a groundbreaking, PNNL-led project, is realizing opportunities at the buildings-grid nexus for improved reliability, consumer benefits and energy efficiency. The project is advancing research, development, and demonstration of transactive controls for energy management. The multi-year, ongoing effort was launched in 2015 as the first of several regional partnerships awarded under DOE's Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium, and has been jointly funded by DOE and Washington State's Clean Energy Fund.

The project is the first of its kind to test demand-side transactive controls at a scale involving multiple buildings and devices. Central to the project is the VOLTTRON™ distributed sensing and control platform, which works in concert with CETC-developed methods to deliver promising new approaches for improving efficiency in buildings and grid reliability.

Phase 1 participants:

PNNL, the University of Washington and Washington State University.

CETC advances include:

Intelligent Load Control – ILC is an algorithm deployed, via VOLTTRON™, to a building's control system. The ILC technology can automatically and intelligently adjust building energy use by coordinating heating and cooling, lights and other building functions to achieve a desired consumption target. ILC applications have been developed for peak power load management, capacity bidding and transactive control. Each application helps to manage building loads more efficiently and enhance grid stability, while facilitating increased use of renewable energy. The ILC technology has been tested and validated in buildings, with additional deployments planned.

Development and deployment of passive and active diagnostics – Successfully implemented in multiple buildings, testing results indicate the CETC-developed diagnostic algorithms effectively identify operational issues in buildings, correct problems and ultimately improve operations and energy efficiency. This methodology is now referred to as Automated Fault Detection and Diagnostics. Deployment and testing continue.

Transactive control and coordination of building energy loads – This method has successfully created energy markets within building zones and devices. For example, in an air handling unit, the method's automated, real-time process enables the unit to obtain energy at a certain cost and then sell its product, cool air, to building zones that electronically submit "bids" based on price and desired occupant comfort levels. Deployment and testing continue.

Integration of distributed renewable energy resources – Testing has demonstrated that this approach enables building devices to track solar power production, analyze the data, and quickly adjust power consumption. The objective is to rapidly balance electricity use in response to reduced solar generation, easing fluctuation impacts on the power grid.

Optimizing solar energy, smart city and microgrid resources – Washington State University's research is providing new insights into how solar energy can more effectively be integrated to support a campus microgrid, as well as the Pullman, Wash., electricity system, particularly during outages. WSU has installed a 72-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system and grid-tied inverters, incorporated the VOLTTRON™ platform, and is connecting these assets to an existing campus energy storage system, the campus microgrid and the city. The effort is ongoing.

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