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Validation Approach for Energy Optimization Models of Grid-Interactive Buildings using Co-Simulation



Patrick McCurdy, Kaleb Pattawi, Chenli Wang, Thomas Roth, Cuong Nguyen, Yuhong Liu, Hohyun Lee


The consumption and production of energy are more dynamic as distributed energy resources (DER) such as solar photovoltaics (PV) are deployed within the electric distribution system. The existing techniques for bulk generation do not take full advantage of DER and can lead to wasted energy and higher costs for both utility companies and consumers. Commercial and residential building energy management systems are usually on a fixed schedule and are not able to respond to changes in energy price instantaneously. There is a need for a real-time pricing structure that can accommodate the fluctuating cost of energy based on supply and demand, and a need for an energy management system that is able to respond to the dynamic utility rate. As such, there is a need for a robust energy management control strategy and methodology to validate new approaches. To address this gap, a strategy to control heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in a residential house was developed along with a validation methodology. A model of predictive control was implemented to optimize the thermostat setpoints and minimize energy cost for an individual residential house while maintaining thermal comfort of residents. This model was integrated with EnergyPlus simulation via an open source co-simulation platform previously developed at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Total energy consumption and cost for consumers were compared between a case with the proposed model and a baseline case that used fixed-temperature setpoint control. The simple dynamic pricing model used in simulations was proportional to the demand of energy at that time of day. This work will contribute to the development of utility dynamic pricing models and residential control strategies for grid-interactive buildings and homes. The outcome of this research can be expanded to different building models or locations in future work.
Proceedings Title
International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE)
Conference Dates
November 1-4, 2021
Conference Location
Gaithersburg, MD, US


co-simulation, cyber-physical systems, smart grid, transactive energy


McCurdy, P. , Pattawi, K. , Wang, C. , Roth, T. , Nguyen, C. , Liu, Y. and Lee, H. (2022), Validation Approach for Energy Optimization Models of Grid-Interactive Buildings using Co-Simulation, International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE), Gaithersburg, MD, US, [online],, (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created January 25, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022