Modelling and predictive control techniques for building heating systems

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O'Dwyer, Edward
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University College Cork
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Model predictive control (MPC) has often been referred to in literature as a potential method for more efficient control of building heating systems. Though a significant performance improvement can be achieved with an MPC strategy, the complexity introduced to the commissioning of the system is often prohibitive. Models are required which can capture the thermodynamic properties of the building with sufficient accuracy for meaningful predictions to be made. Furthermore, a large number of tuning weights may need to be determined to achieve a desired performance. For MPC to become a practicable alternative, these issues must be addressed. Acknowledging the impact of the external environment as well as the interaction of occupants on the thermal behaviour of the building, in this work, techniques have been developed for deriving building models from data in which large, unmeasured disturbances are present. A spatio-temporal filtering process was introduced to determine estimates of the disturbances from measured data, which were then incorporated with metaheuristic search techniques to derive high-order simulation models, capable of replicating the thermal dynamics of a building. While a high-order simulation model allowed for control strategies to be analysed and compared, low-order models were required for use within the MPC strategy itself. The disturbance estimation techniques were adapted for use with system-identification methods to derive such models. MPC formulations were then derived to enable a more straightforward commissioning process and implemented in a validated simulation platform. A prioritised-objective strategy was developed which allowed for the tuning parameters typically associated with an MPC cost function to be omitted from the formulation by separation of the conflicting requirements of comfort satisfaction and energy reduction within a lexicographic framework. The improved ability of the formulation to be set-up and reconfigured in faulted conditions was shown.
Model predictive control , Data-driven modelling , Building heating systems
O'Dwyer, E. 2016. Modelling and predictive control techniques for building heating systems. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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