Evaluation of energy flexibility potential of a typical thermal zone in Dubai

Evaluation of energy flexibility potential of a typical thermal zone in Dubai

Ali Saberi Derakhtenjani Juan David Barbosa Edwin Rodriguez-Ubinas

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) R&D Center, Dubai, UAE

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With increased worldwide adoption of renewables, such as wind and solar, power grids face challenges with the inherent variability in renewables production. Energy flexibility is an essential part of the holistic solution toward this variable production. Buildings are the largest consumers of energy around the globe. However, they also have the ability to become energy flexible. This article investigates the potential energy flexibility of a building zone with typical thermal properties in compliance with the Dubai building code, located in Dubai, where the dominant energy load is cooling. The cooling load is provided through a convective air conditioning system, which is typical in Dubai, and the control strategy is based on the zone air temperature setpoint. Modulating the zone air temperature can result in significant changes in the cooling load, thus providing a certain amount of energy flexibility through the building thermal mass, which can then be used to shift and reduce the peak demand. We evaluated the effect of three strategies on the thermal zone, utilizing two energy flexibility indicators, the available structural energy storage capacity (CADR) and the storage efficiency (ηADR).  It is found that on a typical day in July, the analyzed zone can reach up to 570 Wh/m2  of flexibility and achieve up to 3 h of load shifting, depending on the strategy utilized.


convective cooling, demand response, energy flexibility, grid-interactive, peak demand, thermal mass


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