Virtual Power Plant Control for Large Residential Communities Using HVAC Systems for Energy Storage

Huangjie Gong, Evan Jones, Rosemary Alden, Andrew Frye, Donald Colliver, Dan Ionel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems use the most electricity of any household appliance in residential communities. HVAC system modeling facilitates the study of demand response (DR) at both the residential and power system levels. In this article, the equivalent thermal model of a reference house is proposed. Parameters for the reference house were determined based on the systematic study of experimental data obtained from fully instrumented field demonstrators. Energy storage capacity of HVAC systems is calculated and an equivalent state-of-charge is defined. The uniformity between HVAC systems and battery energy storage system is demonstrated by DR control. The aggregated HVAC load model is based on the reference house and considers a realistic distribution of HVAC parameters derived from one of the largest smart grid field demonstrators in rural America. A sequential DR scheme as part of a virtual power plant control is proposed to reduce both ramping rate and peak power at the aggregated level, while maintaining human comfort according to ASHRAE standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-633
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industry Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1972-2012 IEEE.


  • Aggregated
  • American Society of Heating
  • Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • and air-conditioning (HVAC)
  • battery energy storage system (BESS)
  • demand response (DR)
  • equivalent energy storage
  • equivalent thermal model
  • gray box
  • heating
  • home energy management (HEM)
  • smart grids
  • smart home
  • ventilation
  • virtual power plant (VPP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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