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Cost-Effective Heating Control Approaches by Demand Response and Peak Demand Limiting in an Educational Office Building with District Heating

Yuan, Xiaolei; Vand, Behrang; Martin, Kristian; Jokisalo, Juha; Liang, Yumin; Kosonen, Risto; Pan, Yiqun


Xiaolei Yuan

Kristian Martin

Juha Jokisalo

Yumin Liang

Risto Kosonen

Yiqun Pan


This study examined three different approaches to reduce the heating cost while maintaining indoor thermal comfort at acceptable levels in an educational office building, including decentralized (DDRC) and centralized demand response control (CDRR) and limiting peak demand. The results showed that although all these approaches did not affect the indoor air temperature significantly, the DDRC method could adjust the heating set point to between 20–24.5 °C. The DDRC approach reached heating cost savings of up to 5% while controlling space heating temperature without sacrificing the thermal comfort. The CDRC of space heating had limited potential in heating cost savings (1.5%), while the indoor air temperature was in the acceptable range. Both the DDRC and CDRC alternatives can keep the thermal comfort at good levels during the occupied time. Depending on the district heating provider, applying peak demand limiting of 35% can not only achieve 13.6% maximum total annual district heating cost saving but also maintain the thermal comfort level, while applying that of 43% can further save 16.9% of the cost, but with sacrificing a little thermal comfort. This study shows that demand response on heating energy only benefited from the decentralized control alternative, and the district heating-based peak demand limiting has significant potential for saving heating costs.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 19, 2023
Online Publication Date Jan 23, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Jan 30, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jan 30, 2023
Journal Buildings
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 2
Article Number 332
Keywords demand response, peak demand limiting, district heating, cost-effective heating control, educational office building


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