The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers on Thursday released the Grid-Interactive Buildings for Decarbonization: Design and Operation Resource Guide, which provides information on maximizing carbon reduction through building interactions with electrical power grids.
ASHRAE said decarbonizing the electric grid requires a fundamental shift toward a “dynamic, two-way relationship between buildings and the grid.” This approach, the organization said, would provide buildings with the flexibility needed to respond to changing grid conditions and time-varying carbon emission rates. The integration of renewable energy sources, grid reliability concerns and extreme weather conditions has increased the importance of this two-way communication, prompting facilities managers, grid operators and utilities to “reassess the role buildings can play in supporting grid reliability and decarbonization by reshaping their energy consumption patterns,” the organization said in a Nov. 2 release.
The guide, developed by ASHRAE’s Task Force For Building Decarbonization, or TFBD, offers best practices, design considerations and operational guidelines for three main integration value streams, ASHRAE said. These include reducing carbon emissions through smart building-to-grid interactions, optimizing energy usage and reducing operational costs, and ensuring uninterrupted operations by strengthening a building’s ability to withstand and adapt to changing grid conditions.
ASHRAE said the guide primarily covers commercial and multifamily buildings, it also includes relevant information for the industrial and residential sectors and operational recommendations for new and existing buildings.
“Grid-interactive buildings actively engage with the energy grid. They utilize smart technologies, renewable energy sources, and energy storage systems to optimize energy consumption and generation. This allows them to respond in real-time to grid signals, thereby reducing overall demand and GHG emissions," Kent Peterson, ASHRAE Task Force For Building Decarbonization chair and presidential fellow, said in the release.
"Integrating buildings with the electrical grid is a critical component in the decarbonization process. It's an emerging focus for building professionals, and ASHRAE is thrilled to provide new guidance as we collectively work towards a more sustainable, resilient, and energy-efficient built environment," Peterson added.
Technical resources, information, videos and publications about the guide are available on the TFBD webpage.
ASHRAE will also host a seminar, “Grid-Interactive Buildings for a Decarbonized World,” at its 2024 Winter Conference in Chicago from Jan. 20 to Jan. 24. The seminar will cover the guide and project case studies that aided its development.