Smart Controls for Demand Management

A photo of NYC buildings with smart controls for demand management

A case study of the work by Sentient Buildings

Key Takeaways

  • Real-time monitoring and control of air handling units and cooling towers reduced their electricity usage by 16%
  • Controls allowed buildings to enroll in Con Edison’s Demand Management Program, with an incentive of $79,000, covering about 50% of project cost

Executive Summary

In 2015, smart buildings consultant Sentient Buildings was challenged with reducing the energy usage without compromising tenant comfort at two large commercial buildings: 1560 Broadway and 515 Madison Avenue. These buildings have air handling units (AHUs) and one cooling tower per building. Sentient designed a solution to provide building operators with a central monitoring and control platform for the AHUs and cooling towers. The new system delivers real-time monitoring and control of each AHU with an on/off rotational system to bring some AHUs offline during peak periods and modulate the cooling tower fans, while still maintaining comfort. As a result of the new controls, the AHUs and cooling towers now use 16% less energy. These improvements allowed the buildings to be enrolled in Con Edison’s Demand Management Program, with sustained savings of approximately 100 kW in demand reductions. Con Edison granted the buildings an incentive of $79,000, which covered about 50% of the project cost.

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