Application of Statistical and Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Medium-Term Electrical Energy Forecasting: A Case Study for a Regional Hospital
Electrical energy forecasting is crucial for efficient, reliable, and economic operations of hospitals due to serving 365 days a year, 24/7, and they require round-the-clock energy. An accurate prediction of energy consumption is particularly required for energy management, maintenance scheduling, and future renewable investment planning of large facilities. The main objective of this study is to forecast electrical energy demand by performing and comparing well-known techniques, which are frequently applied to short-term electrical energy forecasting problem in the literature, such as multiple linear regression as a statistical technique and artificial intelligence techniques including artificial neural networks containing multilayer perceptron neural networks and radial basis function networks, and support vector machines through a case study of a regional hospital in the medium-term horizon. In this study, a state-of-the-art literature review of medium-term electrical energy forecasting, data set information, fundamentals of statistical and artificial intelligence techniques, analyses for aforementioned methodologies, and the obtained results are described meticulously. Consequently, support vector machines model with a Gaussian kernel has the best validation performance, and the study revealed that seasonality has a dominant influence on forecasting performance. Hence heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems cover the major part of electrical energy consumption of the regional hospital. Besides historical electrical energy consumption, outdoor mean temperature and calendar variables play a significant role in achieving accurate results. Furthermore, the study also unveiled that the number of patients is steady over the years with only small deviations and have no significant influence on medium-term electrical energy forecasting.