February 1, 2023
Journal Article

Smarter Building Start - A Distributed Solution


A significant focus of research and new technologies for reducing energy use in buildings is on operating the systems more efficiently during the times when the systems are active. However, there is a large potential for energy savings in determining the periods when the systems should or should not be active. This scheduling aspect of operation is often overlooked even though relatively simple solutions can unlock substantial energy savings. This paper describes a smart building start (SBS) algorithm that considers multiple zones in a building to determine individual schedules for room controllers as well as the central systems based on solving a simple optimization problem. Application of the SBS algorithm to multiple interconnected systems enables a staggered start-up that minimizes peak loads and also ensures comfort is within a target range with minimal system run time. The SBS algorithm extends the capability of traditional optimal start and is designed to be simple to deploy and robust. Simulation results as well as test results from a building with a VAV system are presented.

Published: February 1, 2023


Salsbury T., K. Devaprasad, R.G. Lutes, and A.P. Rogers. 2023. Smarter Building Start - A Distributed Solution. Energy and Buildings 282. PNNL-SA-177108. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2023.112776