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Title: Energetic, cost, and comfort performance of a nearly-zero energy building including rule-based control of four sources of energy flexibility
Authors: Delgado, BM
Ruusu, R
Hasan, A
Kilpelainen, S
Cao, SL 
Siren, K
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Buildings, Dec. 2018, v. 8, no. 12, 172, p. 1-20
Abstract: A focal point of ongoing research is matching the energy demand in the built environment to the energy supply from onsite generation, to maximize the self-consumption, and from the energy grids, to lower energy costs and reduce peak loads on the system. Energy flexibility addresses this task by modulating the energy demand in a building according to dynamic criteria such as electricity prices or onsite generation. This study addresses the potential of building performance simulation with real time rule-based control that provides energy flexibility based on onsite generation and hourly electricity prices, prioritizing energy matching, and reducing costs. The novelty relies on investigating four sources of energy flexibility simultaneously: shiftable machine loads, charging/discharging of batteries, hot-water storage tanks, and the building's mass. The energy matching and flexibility actions provided a decrease of up to 4% in annual energy costs, yet risk increasing the cost by 9% when the savings are offset by the increase in the energy demand. As well, the method for price categorization strongly influences the cost performance of the flexibility actions. The outcomes of this study provide insight to energy flexibility sources in nearly-zero energy buildings and how their outcomes are affected by price thresholds.
Keywords: Energy flexibility
Energy matching
Nearly-zero energy buildings
Rule-based control
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Journal: Buildings 
EISSN: 2075-5309
DOI: 10.3390/buildings8120172
Rights: © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
The following publication Delgado, B. M., Ruusu, R., Hasan, A., Kilpelainen, S., Cao, S. L., & Siren, K. (2018). Energetic, cost, and comfort performance of a nearly-zero energy building including rule-based control of four sources of energy flexibility. Buildings, 8(12), 172, 1-20 is available at
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