Event date:
Sep 11 2023 11:00 am

Data-driven Characterization of Cooling Needs in a Portfolio of Co-located Commercial Buildings

Dr. Aqsa Naeem, Stanford University
Dean’s Smart Lab, 4th floor SBASSE Building
Driven by ambitious climate goals, the energy infrastructure that provides cooling in buildings is anticipated to undergo rapid change and growth. As space cooling in commercial buildings in the US consumes 11% of the total electricity with a projected growth of 38% by 2050, gaining a deeper understanding of cooling requirements in existing buildings becomes imperative to improve energy efficiency, resilience, and flexibility.
This talk presents simple and scalable data-driven solutions to characterize the cooling requirements in a portfolio of 119 co-located commercial buildings in a warm-summer Mediterranean climate. Our cooling load characterization yields interpretable regressions, which can serve as data-driven benchmarks. These models effectively capture daily variability, explaining over 70% of variance for buildings that collectively represent 85-94% of the portfolio’s overall cooling load in five different years. Our results indicate that the portfolio’s base load cooling ranges from 2.6 to 3.0 MJ/m2/day. Cooling consumption increases by 7.6-9.8% for every 1°C (~1.8°F) rise in average daily outside air temperature. Factoring out geography-driven differences, our key findings reveal substantial usage-driven heterogeneity across buildings. The average estimated base load cooling varies from 0.50 to 4.4 MJ/m2/day across buildings, with the highest loads observed in healthcare and the lowest in residential buildings. Our findings complement electric meter analyses and have implications for building energy retrofits, fault diagnosis, and demand-side management.

Aqsa Naeem is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Energy Sciences and Engineering at Stanford University. Her current research centers on utilizing data analytics to analyze energy consumption in buildings and support urban planners in enhancing building energy efficiency and resilience.
Naeem obtained her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan, where she worked on designing resilient and cost-effective microgrids to promote the adoption of renewable energy systems in the power sector.