Scientific Seminar “Thermal energy storage in buildings as a demand response resource”

Speaker: Dr. Tomaž Šuklje (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)

When: November, 30 at 3.30-5.00 p.m.

 Where: MR-402 (TPOC-3)

Abstract. In order to ensure sustainable environment for the future generations of human kind and ecosystems, world leaders committed countries to enforce measures which will pursue them towards carbon neutral society. One of the measures that are applied worldwide, are increased utilization of renewable energy sources and reduction of energy use in buildings, as they represent the largest share in total energy use. Utilizing wind and solar energy are recognized as the most feasible energy sources for electricity production. Wind power plants are most commonly directly connected to the grid; meanwhile photovoltaic systems are either connected directly or used in buildings. Even though, the renewable energy systems are a step in the right direction there are several challenges. Electricity production from the renewables fluctuates and is difficult to predict, consequently it represents burden for the grid, causing higher operation costs and black-outs. In addition, it is expected that in future, the energy exchange between buildings and infrastructure systems (grids, district heating etc.) will be even more dynamic.

The necessary flexibility can be provided to the grid by utilizing demand response (DR). In turn to the conventional approach where supply meets demand, DR manages demand to meet available energy. Focusing on the thermal comfort in office buildings, as one of the most potential DR resources; the contradictory relation between increased thermal comfort and reduction of energy use for the operation of buildings is getting even more complex with additional objective (peak load reduction). To achieve the objective, the thermal energy storage (TES) in the form of thermal mass of the building or an additional TES system can be utilized. This measures are expected to shift thermal loads, thus reduce operational cost of the grid and ensure better stability of the grid, as well as higher integration renewable energy sources.

Bio. Tomaž Šuklje is a researcher and teaching assistant at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His PhD study entitled Thermal response of adaptive building envelopes has been carried out at home institution and at Eindhoven University of Technology, Nederland. As a teaching assistant he holds lectures in Renewable energy sources at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering as well as Building physics and Building services at Faculty of Architecture both at University of Ljubljana. As an active member of Laboratory for Sustainable Technologies in Buildings he has been involved in numerous projects related to the utilization of renewable energy sources in buildings, building physics, building performance, urban physics and smart cities. He is also a consultant for the national building performance policy makers, a project manager of open data innovation in Ljubljana and an active member of the COST Action 1403 Adaptive façade network. In addition to the research work, he works as a HVAC designer in a consulting company, consultant for the company KnaufInsulation and developer of smart home solutions for the company EntiaLiving.