January 13, 2023
Journal Article

An experimental study on round-trip efficiency of a preheating control with a medium office building


The interactions between building energy efficiency and demand response (DR) with buildings may complicate their impacts on the electricity grid and buildings, yet those interactions are not well understood. This work fills this gap by presenting an experimental study that quantifies the effects of DR on building energy efficiency. Unlike existing studies, this work 1) investigates the uncertainty levels when assessing the effects of DR; 2) studies the impact of rooftop heat pumps with direct expansion refrigerant-to-air coils on the round-trip efficiency. Specifically, we considered a medium office building (~1,860m2), which is served by rooftop units, located in eastern Washington State. We performed preheating control tests during typical heating days in the year 2022 and compared the building’s energy consumption during the testing days to that during normal operation days under similar weather conditions. To understand how well those normal operation days represent the baseline for the assessment, the relationship between the energy performance of this building and weather conditions was also studied. Experimental results reveal that the round-trip efficiency (i.e., the ratio of discharging energy output from the building to charging energy input into the building) was between 0.16 to 0.92. The results also suggest a tendency showing that round-trip efficiency increased when the outdoor temperature is lower.

Published: January 13, 2023


Huang S., S. Katipamula, and R.G. Lutes. 2023. An experimental study on round-trip efficiency of a preheating control with a medium office building. Energy and Buildings 278. PNNL-ACT-SA-10698. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2022.112622