The emerging technology in smart grids enables a bi-directional communication between buildings and power grids. Not only can a building request energy from power grid, but it is also able to sell surplus energy back to power grid or to its neighborhood buildings. The vision is that multiple residential houses can freely form a smart complex to share energy and exchange information, which is expected to reduce energy consumption and achieve significant energy cost savings. However, the study of the operation decisions of a smart complex with multiple residential buildings is limited in the literature. To address this research gap, this paper proposes a System of Systems (SoS) approach to investigate the smart complex operation that considers a residential complex setting where all of the households are connected to one another through the complex virtual decision making level, while maintaining their preferred comfort level. The core objective of the proposed model is to minimize the cost of energy for all of the households in the complex which can freely share energy and exchange information. Each household has the flexibility to maintain its comfort level while minimizing the energy cost. Two mathematical models are presented: (i) at complex level, and (ii) at household level. Although each household is given the freewill to set its comfort levels while optimizing energy costs, the interconnection of these houses with shared renewable energy systems and a complex size battery can boost the load shifting. To derive the operation decision for the smart complex, a genetic algorithm (GA) is developed, and a case study is used to test the efficiency of this GA. It was found that the GA provides acceptable levels of convergence within a reasonable time frame, thereby exhibiting potential for use in real-time decision making in the smart grid context.

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