Date of Award

Winter 12-2016

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Dissertation (CMU Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Abe Ishihara


By 2040, global CO2 emissions and energy consumption are expected to increase by 40%. In the US, buildings account for 40% of national CO2 emissions and energy consumption, of which 75% is met by fossil fuels. Reducing this impact on the environment requires both improved building energy efficiency and increased renewable utilization. To this end, this dissertation presents a demand-supplystorage- based decision framework to enable strategic energy management in smart buildings. This framework includes important but largely unaddressed aspects pertaining to building demand and supply such as occupant plugloads and the integration of weather forecast-based solar prediction, respectively. We devote the first part of our work to study occupant plugloads, which account for up to 50% of demand in high performance buildings. We investigate the impact of plugload control mechanisms based on the analysis of real-world data from experiments we conducted at NASA Ames sustainability base and Carnegie Mellon University (SV campus). Our main contribution is in extending existing demand response approaches to an occupant-in-the-loop paradigm. In the second part of this work, we describe methods to develop weather forecastbased solar prediction models using both local sensor measurements and global weather forecast data from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).We contribute to the state-of-the-art solar prediction models by proposing the incorporation of both local and global weather characteristics into their predictions. This weather forecast-based solar model plus the plugload-integrated demand model, along with an energy storage model constitutes the weather-driven plugloadintegrated decision-making framework for energy management. To demonstrate the utility of this framework, we apply it to solve an optimal decision problem with the objective of minimizing the energy-related operating costs associated with a smart building. The findings indicate that the optimal decisions can result in savings of up to 74% in the expected operational costs. This framework enables inclusive energy management in smart buildings by accounting for occupants-in-the-loop. Results are presented and discussed in the context of commercial office buildings.

Available for download on Sunday, January 09, 2022