Optimal Meeting Scheduling in Smart Commercial Building for Energy Cost Reduction


This paper aimed at minimising energy consumption for air-conditioning and achieving more balanced power distribution is now published in IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid.

B. Chai; A. Costa; S. D. Ahipasaoglu; C. Yuen; Z. Yang, "Optimal Meeting Scheduling in Smart Commercial Building for Energy Cost Reduction," in IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid , vol.PP, no.99, pp.1-1

FRS researcher Dr Alberto Costa and co-authors published the paper Optimal Meeting Scheduling in Smart Commercial Building for Energy Cost Reduction in the journal IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. Alberto is a postdoctoral researcher at the Future Resilient Systems programme at Singapore-ETH Centre, working on Optimal Management Strategies and Tactics.

In a global environment characterised by increasing energy demand and availability of renewable energy resources, there is growing interest in energy efficiency, cost reduction, and reliability. The smart grid, in particular the demand response management (DRM), has been put forward as a new paradigm in energy demand management.

While DRM has often been employed in residential buildings to reduce electricity consumption and cost, in metropolises such as Singapore and Hong Kong, a significant portion of electricity is consumed by commercial and institutional buildings. In these buildings, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems used for meeting rooms are among the largest consumers of energy.

The optimal scheduling of the usage of these meeting rooms could reduce energy consumption cost and the dynamic pricing mechanism of electricity offers new opportunities for effective demand distribution. However, this is a complex problem with many practical factors.

In this paper, the authors consider the optimal meeting scheduling problem in a commercial building over a fixed period of time, with the objectives of minimising the cost of energy consumed for air-conditioning and possibly achieving more balanced power distribution. The solution could potentially be integrated into a large scale scheduling system in future workplaces connected to a smart grid.

The optimal meeting schedule can be formulated as a constrained Mixed-Integer Linear Program (MILP) to model the energy consumption cost by a set of realistic factors, including the available time slots of attendees and energy consumption characteristics of meeting rooms. However, computation complexity increases dramatically with problem size.

The authors propose a fast heuristic algorithm based on a score ranking mechanism, whereby meetings are ranked and scheduled according to their priority The numerical simulations prove that the heuristic algorithm produces a near-optimal result, i.e., only 4.60% worse than the optimal solution on average, while reducing computation time significantly.

The IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid is a cross disciplinary and internationally archival journal aimed at disseminating results of research on smart grid that relates to, arises from, or deliberately influences energy generation, transmission, distribution and delivery.

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