Ice storage systems have the reputation of saving cost for operating building cooling plants by appropriately recognizing time-of-use incentives in the utility rate structure. However, many systems can consume more electrical energy than a conventional cooling plant without ice storage. This excess energy problem is illustrated in this paper by a simplified cooling plant model employed in a simulation environment that allows the assessment of the control performance of various conventional and optimal strategies. The optimal control strategy of minimizing operating cost only is introduced and subsequently is modified to allow the simultaneous consideration of operating cost and energy consumption. This proposed optimal control strategy could be valuable if ice storage systems are to stand on their own merits in a deregulated utility environment. Due to the lack of demand charges under real-time pricing, even small energy penalties and their associated excess energy cost may jeopardize the feasibility of the ice storage system.

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