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Energy Master Plans at Community Level | Smart Electrical Grid | Integrated Networks for Heating and Cooling | Community Resilience | Acute Need for Professionals | Smart City - Challenges and Approach to Address Them | Smart Community Solution | Hybrid Work

Energy Master Plans at Community Level

Efforts to decarbonize the planet are leading to the enhanced electrification of buildings and infrastructure through the integration of buildings, distributed energy resources (renewables) and charging of electric cars in a so-called “Connected Community” (CC), which is defined as: a group of grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEB) with diverse, flexible end-use equipment and other distributed energy resources that collectively work to maximize building, community and grid efficiency – all linked via a smart grid. Thermal networks are also optimizing energy use in connected communities.

ASHRAE is in a leadership position to drive the integration across many different organizations including the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), DOE’s Office of Electricity, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to bring together critical technologies and programs. Complementing this, ASHRAE can bring in the perspective of the end users and consumers.

Decarbonizing the planet to avoid catastrophic climate change requires the electrification of buildings and infrastructure. This is best done through the digital integration of buildings and distributed renewable energy and transport - resulting in a “Connected Community,” which the Department of Energy (DoE) defines as: “a group of grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEB) with diverse, flexible end-use equipment and other distributed energy resources that collectively work to maximize building, community and grid efficiency – all linked via a smart grid.”

Smart Electrical Grid

A smart grid is a key element of a connected community. It is a platform that links the numerous sources of supply with demand, and which automates their participation by interpreting their data and allowing bidirectional communication between the grid generators (i.e. power stations and distributed energy sources and end users, such as housing, industry, commerce, electrical vehicles (EVs) and so on.

Distributed  Energy Resources (DER) are defined by the Department of Energy (DOE) as: “a resource (at the community-or building-scale) that can provide all or some immediate electric and/or power needs and can also be used by the community to either reduce demand (for example, through energy efficiency) or supply power to satisfy the energy, capacity, or ancillary service needs of the distribution grid.”

Examples of DERs are: photovoltaics (PV), energy storage, wind, combined heat and power (CHP), demand response (DR), energy efficiency (EE), microgrids, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. DERs increase the supply capacity and reduce the demand.

Smart Grid:

   (Source: TP Smart Grids Green Net-Incentives EIE / 06 / 217 / SI 2 . 445571)

Grid-Interactive Efficient Commercial Buildings:

Buildings – both commercial and residential that participate in the smart grid, must be interactive and efficient. The ability of energy-efficient groups of buildings and DERs to modify the load, reduces energy demand and environmental impact.

(Source: US. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Resources)

Integrated Networks for Heating and Cooling:

In northern latitudes, heating demand can exceed electrical demand for cooling, lighting and plug load. Integrated networks offer the possibility of efficient district energy and combined heat and power systems that can distribute thermal energy to multiple buildings in an area or neighborhood. They typically consist of a heating and cooling center, and a thermal network of pipes connecting a group of buildings. These systems are most effective in high-density cities (where half of the world population lives). In some cases, there may be a synergy in which one type of building transfers its excess heat into the system, which is used to meet the heating demand another different sort of building.

(Source: Energy Integration https://www.utwente.nl/en/et/tfe/research-groups/TE/research/research/Energy_Systems_Integration/)

Integrated Networks - Energy exchange:

Integrated Networks also enable the use of less carbon-intensive fuel sources such as hydrogen, biogas, ground heat, solar thermal heat, waste heat from sewers and cold water for cooling.  Both smart electrical grid and low-carbon energy networks can be well-integrated with connected buildings.