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Operating cost reduction with day-ahead multi-period optimization

A North American district energy supplier, which provides reliable cooling and heating to 18 medical institutions, had changeable demand and variable supply costs. They needed a tool to better manage their energy assets and lower their operating costs.

The challenge

Produce and distribute chilled water at a minimum cost while satisfying the highly changeable demand and variable electricity prices by leveraging the existing thermal energy storage.

Solution

  • A comprehensive model of the district energy system was developed through the VM-MPO modeling environment.
  • Typical multi-period constraints were defined to guarantee feasibility of the solution (e.g. minimum down times)
  • Forecasts of chilled water demand, cooling water return temperatures and electricity prices were included in the model via VM-MPO data source interfaces
  • VM-MPO enhanced connectivity between data sources, forecasting methods, model structure and multi-period constraints resulting in fast, accurate optimization solutions
  • Using the VM-MPO mixed integer optimization engine and working on the district energy model the optimal operation of the chillers and thermal energy storage was provided.

The results

Multi-period optimization reduced operating costs on the thermal energy storage operation by $100,000 per year. Clear recommendations of the optimal chillers and thermal energy storage operation were provided.

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