Design and Dispatch Optimization of Packaged Ice Storage Systems Within a Connected Community

Karl Heine, Paulo Cesar Tabares-Velasco, Michael Deru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus Citations


The traditional implementation of cool thermal energy storage (CTES) must be reimagined within the context of a dynamic grid and smart buildings operating as connected communities. As most buildings do not operate central chillers or connect to district cooling loops, this necessitates a broader use of packaged CTES. Our objective is to begin answering the question of how such packaged CTES should be implemented within a connected community. We do so by presenting a simulation–optimization workflow employing building energy modeling software and a mixed-integer linear program to design and dispatch a packaged CTES technology to achieve minimum total annual cost. We demonstrate this methodology on a seven-building case study using current utility rates and find that total annual cooling energy costs can be reduced by 17.8% compared to baseline, after accounting for the cost of storage. We perform three parametric sensitivity studies to evaluate modeling assumptions and obtain the prioritization of storage procurement as a function of annualized life-cycle cost of storage. We find that a community optimization approach provides significantly different results than individual building optimizations and provides greater savings compared to baseline.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number117147
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-78717


  • Connected community optimization
  • Cool thermal energy storage
  • Energy storage
  • EnergyPlus
  • Mixed-integer linear programming
  • Packaged ice storage
  • Unitary thermal storage systems


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