Houses represent a substantial fraction of the summer peak electrical load, and therefore measures to reduce peak demand at the household level may be valuable in stabilizing the grid and lowering peak costs. We conducted studies in geometrically-identical, side-by-side full-scale detached houses. One house was operated in a conventional manner and provided a typical reference case. In the other house we applied a variety of measures designed to reduce or shift load from peak periods. Our results demonstrated that a combination of practical operational modifications (air-conditioner cycling, doing laundry later in the evening) and commercially-available technology (exterior shading, modest PV array, energy-efficient lighting) was able to dramatically reduce (in some cases to zero) the peak electrical demand from the grid on the hottest days of the year.

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Energy and Buildings
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Newsham, G.R. (Guy R.), Galasiu, A.D. (Anca D.), Armstrong, M.M. (Marianne M.), Beausoleil-Morrison, I, Szadkowski, F. (Frank), Sager, J.M. (Jeremy M.), … Rowlands, I.H. (Ian H.). (2013). The zero-peak house: Full-scale experiments and demonstration. Energy and Buildings, 64, 483–492. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2013.05.004