Optimal Operation of Climate Control Systems of Indoor Ice Rinks
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The electric power sector is undergoing significant changes with the development of Smart Grid technologies and is rapidly influencing the way we consume energy. Demand Response (DR) is an important element in the emerging smart grid paradigm and is paving way for the more sophisticated implementation of Energy Hub Management Systems (EHMSs). Utilities are looking at Demand Side Management (DSM) and DR services that allow customers to make informed decisions regarding their energy consumption which in return, can help the energy providers to reduce their peak demand and hence enhance grid sustainability. Ice rinks are large commercial buildings which facilitate various activities such as hockey, figure skating, curling, recreational skating, public arenas, auditoriums and coliseums. These have a complex energy system; in which an enormous sheet of ice is maintained at a low temperature while at the same time the spectator stands are heated to ensure comfortable conditions for the spectators. Since indoor ice rinks account for a significant share of the commercial sector and are in operation for more than 8 months a year, their contribution in the total demand cannot be ignored. There is significant scope for energy savings in indoor ice rinks through optimal operation of their climate control systems. In this work, a mathematical model of indoor ice rinks for the implementation of EHMS is developed. The model incorporates weather forecast, electricity price information and end-user preferences as inputs and the objective is to shift the operation of climate control devices to the low electricity price periods, satisfying their operational constraints while having minimum impact on spectator comfort. The inside temperature and humidity dynamics of the spectator area are modeled to reduce total electrical energy costs while capturing the effect of climate control systems including radiant heating system, ventilation system and dehumidification system. Two different pricing schemes, Real Time Pricing (RTP) and Time-of-Use (TOU), are used to assess the model, and the resulting energy costs savings are compared. The expected energy cost savings are evaluated for a 8 month period of operation of the rink incorporating the uncertainties in electricity price, weather conditions and spectator schedules through Monte Carlo simulations. The proposed work can be implemented as a supervisory control in existing climate controllers of indoor ice rinks and would play a significant role in the enforcement of EHMS in Smart Grids.