The wider or even full adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy sources threatens conventional power systems and affects energy reliability. Residential air conditioning (AC) systems can serve as significant demand flexibility resources by shifting electricity consumption between different periods. However, coordinating multiple diverse and dispersed ACs with different dynamics and capacities in residential buildings is still a grand challenge. Existing studies mainly focused on fixed-speed air conditioners with on-off states only. Moreover, most control strategies are centralized and face user privacy and computational and communicational overhead concerns.
This study proposed a consensus-based distributed control strategy to allocate the demand response tasks fairly to multiple inverter air conditioners. First, a mathematical model with lumped thermal parameters is established to describe inverter air conditioners’ thermodynamic and electrical behaviors. Then, a combination of weighted consensus and average consensus-based modification algorithms is adopted to prioritize the DR-participation rate of inverter air conditioners with different capacities and dynamics. The control variable is the temperature setpoint of each inverter air conditioner. Finally, a building with five inverter air conditioners is simulated under a virtual demand response signal. Simulation results validated the effectiveness of the consensus-based distributed control scheme, which is scalable with the plug-and-play feature. As a result, the inverter air conditioners could effectively and efficiently respond to external DR signals.
Keywords inverter air conditioner, passive thermal storage, consensus-based, distributed control, demand flexibility, fair utilization