The research activity addresses the energy flexibility provided by both residential and industrial buildings. The buildings energy demand is indeed about 40% of the total energy demand, thus a great attention is paid to its reduction. Furthermore, given that buildings provide energy storage through building thermal inertia and through external devices (e.g. water tanks) related to heating and cooling systems, buildings can provide energy flexibility to be exploited in order to increase the efficiency of the overall energy system. In particular, when the thermal demand is provided by devices driven electrically, such as heat pumps, buildings can have an important role in the context of smart grids. They can participate by means of heat pumps in Demand Response (DR) programs aimed to modify the energy demand on the basis of grid requests implemented through price signals.
The research deals with theoretical and practical analysis of the above mentioned systems. Simulation models to quantify buildings energy flexibility and the dynamic behavior of one or aggregated buildings for demand side management strategies are developed. Among the activities performed:
• Analysis and optimization of integrated systems (several devices, multi energy-multi vector systems)
• Optimal control
• Integration of optimal control and optimal design
• Assessment of DSM strategy in single or aggregated buildings
• Heat pumps performance analysis in the context of DR