This paper presents a novel control system for chiller plants that is decentralized and flat-structured. Each device in chiller plant system is fitted with a smart node. It is a smart agent, which collects, handles and sends out information to its neighbours. All the smart nodes form a network that can realize self-organization and self-recognition. Different kinds of control strategies can be converted into series of decentralized computing processes carried on by the smart nodes. The principle and mechanism of this decentralized, flat-structured control system for chiller plants are described in detail. Then a case study is presented to show how to build the decentralized, flat-structured control system actually. The measured data shows that the decentralized control method is energy efficiency. Moreover, it is much more flexible and scalable compared with the traditional centralized control method.
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