Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Gregor P. Henze

Second Advisor

Michael J. Brandemuehl

Third Advisor

Moncef Krarti

Fourth Advisor

Rajagopalan Balaji

Fifth Advisor

Clemens Felsmann


Building energy use is a significant contributing factor to growing worldwide energy demands. In pursuit of a sustainable energy future, commercial building operations must be intelligently integrated with the electric system to increase efficiency and enable renewable generation. Toward this end, a model-based methodology was developed to estimate the capability of commercial buildings to participate in frequency regulation ancillary service markets. This methodology was integrated into a supervisory model predictive controller to optimize building operation in consideration of energy prices, demand charges, and ancillary service revenue. The supervisory control problem was extended to building portfolios to evaluate opportunities for synergistic effect among multiple, centrally-optimized buildings. Simulation studies performed showed that the multi-market optimization was able to determine appropriate opportunities for buildings to provide frequency regulation. Total savings were increased by up to thirteen percentage points, depending on the simulation case. Furthermore, optimizing buildings as a portfolio achieved up to seven additional percentage points of savings, depending on the case. Enhanced energy and cost savings opportunities were observed by taking the novel perspective of optimizing building portfolios in multiple grid markets, motivating future pursuits of advanced control paradigms that enable a more intelligent electric grid.