13 Sep 13 - Selex ES' DI-BOSS digital building operating system helps NYC office buildings reduce electrical demand during heatwave without impacting tenant comfort
Selex ES, a global technology company owned by Finmeccanica, announced today that its new digital building operating system solution, DI-BOSS™, helped aid local utility load management during the summer heat. Energy usage reductions in two New York City buildings, under management by Rudin Management Company, helped the local utility better manage the electric grid and maintain reliability for all of its customers during a severe heat wave that suffocated the city mid-July.
Selex ES developed Di-BOSS in partnership with Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and Rudin Management, one of the largest privately held property management companies in New York City. The next-generation operating system is currently installed in Rudin’s office buildings at 345 Park Avenue and 560 Lexington Avenue in New York City.
During the week of July 15, 2013, Con Edison and the New York Independent System Operator asked managers of large real estate properties for help with reducing electrical demand in their high-rise buildings in an effort to reduce demand on the energy grid as the heat wave approached. Rudin Management implemented a series of “demand response” strategies for their buildings July 15-18, which included shutting down a quarter of the buildings’ elevators, raising air conditioning (chiller) set points by a few degrees, turning off non-critical equipment, decreasing ventilation fan speeds where possible, and asking tenants to turn off lights in perimeter offices with ambient light and shut down unnecessary equipment. These practices, when performed by many buildings on the grid, can help New York City shed enough load during peak consumption periods to aid grid reliability. “We often work with the utility on reducing demand during critical periods,” says Gene Boniberger, Senior Vice President of Operations at Rudin Management. “The difference now is that Di-Boss provides a high level of situational awareness and control on a real-time basis, allowing building operators to drive the load reductions down and maintain them throughout the curtailment period, all while having little effect on tenant comfort levels.”
These efforts, according to Boniberger, enable a typical building electrical load reduction of between five and 10 percent, depending on whether the building uses steam or electric energy to drive the air conditioning system. During the five-day energy curtailment period at 345 Park Avenue, which uses steam to drive chillers, Rudin Management reduced load by over 10 percent. In the building at 560 Lexington Avenue, which uses electricity to drive chillers, they reduced load by over 30 per cent. “The two buildings together shed over one megawatt of demand load from the utility each day for the duration of the five day curtailment event,” said Boniberger. “That’s encouraging for the future of energy sustainability.”
Commercial buildings use a substantial amount of electricity, especially in the height of summer and winter when HVAC systems are working under taxing conditions. Rebecca Craft, director of Energy Efficiency and Demand Management at Consolidated Edison, is encouraged by Rudin’s success with Di-BOSS. “We are excited to see the Rudin organization make these advances in load management. We see this type of technology as having the potential to be an important additional tool for utilities and customers to work together more closely and advance grid management,” she said.