A linear optimization based controller method for real-time load shifting in industrial and commercial buildings

Ahmed Abdulaal, Shihab Asfour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Effective demand responsiveness (DR) is crucial to the stability of the electrical grid. The increasing penetration of renewable energy sources demands higher load variation adaptability. Therefore, consumer-side flexibility is required for responding to abrupt DR signals. Real-time pricing (RTP) offer a direct approach for continually communicating DR signals. RTP has shown effectiveness in residential applications, however, its implications are impaired in industrial buildings which are less price-elastic due to stresses imposed by just in time (JIT) manufacturing and market competition. In this paper, we propose an instantaneous demand control methodology for industrial and commercial buildings, where the DR action is continually updated as new DR signals are received. We utilize the hour-ahead RTP (RTP-HA) tariffs and the demand shifting concept. The instantaneous approach is independent of price prediction uncertainty and scheduling approaches. The controller algorithm is converted to a linear optimization problem which is solved optimally and saves computational time, making it practical for real-time use. The method is robust and verified using MATLAB/SIMULINK with actual, 1 week, data from eight industrial and commercial buildings in Florida. Results show modest reductions in consumers' electricity bills while maintaining required comfort standards. Results also address the load synchronization problem associated with RTP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-283
Number of pages15
JournalEnergy and Buildings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Demand response (DR)
  • Linear controller
  • Load shifting
  • Load synchronization
  • Peak-to-average ratio (PAR)
  • Real-time pricing (RTP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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