Demand response (DR) is becoming increasingly important as the volatility on the grid continues to increase. Current DR approaches are predominantly completely manual and rule-based or involve deriving first principles based models which are extremely cost and time prohibitive to build. We consider the problem of data-driven end-user DR for large buildings which involves predicting the demand response baseline, evaluating fixed rule based DR strategies and synthesizing DR control actions. The challenge is in evaluating and taking control decisions at fast time scales in order to curtail the power consumption of the building, in return for a financial reward. We provide a model based control with regression trees algorithm (mbCRT), which allows us to perform closed-loop control for DR strategy synthesis for large commercial buildings. Our data-driven control synthesis algorithm outperforms rule-based DR by 17% for a large DoE commercial reference building and leads to a curtailment of up to 380 kW and over $45,000 in savings. Our methods have been integrated into an open source tool called DR-Advisor, which acts as a recommender system for the building's facilities manager and provides suitable control actions to meet the desired load curtailment while maintaining operations and maximizing the economic reward. DR-Advisor achieves 92.8-98.9% prediction accuracy for 8 buildings on Penn's campus. We compare DR-Advisor with other data driven methods and rank 2nd on ASHRAE's benchmarking data-set for energy prediction.
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