Grid-Connected Renewable Energy Systems for Residential HVAC Load Management

Oscar Samuel Acosta, University of Texas at El Paso


With an ongoing mission of utility operators to maintain a resilient and reliable power grid in the face of continuously increasing load demand, it is essential that advancements be made in developing both technology and methodology to help account for the increasing energy requirements. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Information Administration (EIA), the residential end-use sector alone counted for 22% of all electricity used in the U.S. in 2020. Of this, approximately 32% of household electricity load is the direct result of air conditioning and space heating units (HVAC). One way to account for this load involves the concept of load targeting through grid-connected energy such as distributed energy resources (DERs). Both solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind turbine energy have made significant advancements in both production capacity, efficiency and cost effectiveness that can be applied to supplement the necessary load required by residential HVAC. The work described in this thesis focuses on the integration of roof-top solar generation and both offshore and onshore wind turbines to effectively account for this portion of the residential sector. The proposed methodology categorizes the entirety of the continental U.S. as separated into five distinct climate regions and the most affecting parameters respective of each DER being modeled to determine the equivalent electricity requirement to counteract the load being observed. The major contributions of this thesis move to examine the potential load reduction of applying DERs in a partial load targeting fashion while also observing the effectiveness of each resource being observed. Chapter 3 contributes to the development of (i) a detailed analysis for modeling household HVAC load using tailored PV arrays; (ii) a methodology that requires significantly fewer PV panels than whole load targeting as is presently being pushed by the solar power industry; (iii) a load curtailment solution applicable to most U.S. households. Chapter 4 contributes to the development of (iv) a detailed analysis for modeling U.S. residential loads using wind turbine technology; (v) An assessment for observing the potentials of both offshore and onshore technology when targeting identical loads. Both chapters simultaneously contribute to (vi) evaluate residential HVAC load characteristics pertaining to specified climate areas using simple mathematic evaluations; (vii) cover a nation-wide benchmark of testable areas and scenarios. Moreover, the results of modeling these systems help to demonstrate the effective load-shedding potential that can help utility operators alleviate grid stress while maintaining end-user quality of life by not requiring significant daily changes in HVAC management. The work based on this thesis is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and DOE.

Subject Area

Energy|Sustainability|Electrical engineering

Recommended Citation

Acosta, Oscar Samuel, "Grid-Connected Renewable Energy Systems for Residential HVAC Load Management" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI29211669.