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Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "G: Energy and Buildings".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 July 2021) | Viewed by 21788

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Civil Engineering Department, University of Ottawa, 161 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Interests: zero-carbon building systems; building energy consumption; low-carbon building envelopes; indoor environmental quality; renewable energy technologies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Higher requirements for the energy performance of buildings have prompted the emergence of new technologies that hold the potential to reduce the energy consumption of buildings while improving their indoor environmental quality (IEQ). A particular focus has been placed on the improvement in the operation of primary energy-consuming and indoor climate control equipment in buildings, the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, through the use of controllers. The nonlinear, complex, and time-varying nature of HVAC systems has led to the development and implementation of various control approaches, including conventional, advanced, and intelligent controllers.

Furthermore, integrated control strategies that consider different building systems such as HVAC, natural ventilation, shading, and lighting have proven to be effective in reducing energy consumption while improving IEQ. Moreover, focus on safety and security, coupled with efficiency improvements and emission reductions, is driving the growth of the smart building market equipped with sophisticated monitoring systems and sensors for collecting large amounts of data related to operation and performance of buildings. However, advanced metering and building automation systems have come with challenges associated with exploring, mining, and using big data to achieve energy savings, operational efficiency, and improved IEQ.

This Special Issue will deal with novel and advanced control strategies for buildings and HVAC systems. Topics of interest for publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced building control strategies
  • Advanced HVAC control strategies
  • Optimal operation of the HVAC systems
  • Integrated control strategies
  • Predictive building control
  • Application of IoT and/or AI for building systems
  • Intelligent building environmental control
  • Building energy management system
  • Smart buildings
  • Cognitive buildings

Dr. Miroslava Kavgic
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Building control
  • HVAC control
  • Model predictive control
  • Interactive buildings
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Sensing
  • Energy efficiency
  • IoT and big data
  • AI

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 3136 KiB  
Article
Temperature Control to Improve Performance of Hempcrete-Phase Change Material Wall Assemblies in a Cold Climate
by Miroslava Kavgic and Yaser Abdellatef
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5343; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175343 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2179
Abstract
Phase change material (PCM)-enhanced building envelopes can control indoor temperatures and save energy. However, PCM needs to undergo a phase change transition from solid to liquid and back to be fully effective. Furthermore, most previous research integrated PCM with high embodied energy materials. [...] Read more.
Phase change material (PCM)-enhanced building envelopes can control indoor temperatures and save energy. However, PCM needs to undergo a phase change transition from solid to liquid and back to be fully effective. Furthermore, most previous research integrated PCM with high embodied energy materials. This study aims to advance the existing research on integrating PCM into carbon-negative wall assemblies composed of hempcrete and applying temperature control strategies to improve wall systems’ performance while considering the hysteresis phenomenon. Four hempcrete and hempcrete-PCM (HPCM) wall design configurations were simulated and compared under different control strategies designed to reduce energy demand while enhancing the phase change transition of the microencapsulated PCM. The HPCM wall types outperformed the hempcrete wall assembly through heating (~3–7%) and cooling (~7.8–20.7%) energy savings. HPCM walls also maintained higher wall surface temperatures during the coldest days, lower during the warmest days, and within a tighter range than hempcrete assembly, thus improving the thermal comfort. However, the results also show that the optimal performance of thermal energy storage materials requires temperature controls that facilitate their charge and discharge. Hence, applied control strategies reduced heating and cooling energy demand in the range of ~4.4–21.5% and ~14.5–55%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems)
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20 pages, 2028 KiB  
Article
Development of Advanced Smart Ventilation Controls for Residential Applications
by Iain Walker, Brennan Less, David Lorenzetti and Michael D. Sohn
Energies 2021, 14(17), 5257; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14175257 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2194
Abstract
This study examined the use of zoned ventilation systems using a coupled CONTAM/EnergyPlus model for new California dwellings. Several smart control strategies were developed with a target of halving ventilation-related energy use, largely through reducing dwelling ventilation rates based on zone occupancy. The [...] Read more.
This study examined the use of zoned ventilation systems using a coupled CONTAM/EnergyPlus model for new California dwellings. Several smart control strategies were developed with a target of halving ventilation-related energy use, largely through reducing dwelling ventilation rates based on zone occupancy. The controls were evaluated based on the annual energy consumption relative to continuously operating non-zoned, code-compliant mechanical ventilation systems. The systems were also evaluated from an indoor air quality perspective using the equivalency approach, where the annual personal concentration of a contaminant for a control strategy is compared to the personal concentration that would have occurred using a continuously operating, non-zoned system. Individual occupant personal concentrations were calculated for the following contaminants of concern: moisture, CO2, particles, and a generic contaminant. Zonal controls that saved energy by reducing outside airflow achieved typical reductions in ventilation-related energy of 10% to 30%, compared to the 7% savings from the unzoned control. However, this was at the expense of increased personal concentrations for some contaminants in most cases. In addition, care is required in the design and evaluation of zonal controls, because control strategies may reduce exposure to some contaminants, while increasing exposure to others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems)
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14 pages, 4315 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Energy Reduction Measures of Data Centers through Chilled Water Temperature Control and Water-Side Economizer
by Yu-Jin Kim, Ju-Wan Ha, Kyung-Soon Park and Young-Hak Song
Energies 2021, 14(12), 3575; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14123575 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 2108
Abstract
The degree of integration of IT devices and consumption of cooling energy are consistently increasing owing to developments in the data center industry. Hence, to ensure the smooth operation and fault prevention of IT devices, the energy consumption of cooling systems has increased, [...] Read more.
The degree of integration of IT devices and consumption of cooling energy are consistently increasing owing to developments in the data center industry. Hence, to ensure the smooth operation and fault prevention of IT devices, the energy consumption of cooling systems has increased, leading to active research on improvements in cooling system performance for reducing energy consumption. This study examines the reduction in cooling energy consumption using a simulation by applying chilled water control and a water-side economizer (WSE) system to enhance the cooling system efficiency. The simulation results showed that the energy consumption was reduced by 1.8% when the chilled water temperature was set to 11 °C in a conventional system and by up to 19.6% when WSE was also applied. Furthermore, when the changes in chilled water temperature were applied for efficient operation of WSE, the energy consumption was reduced by up to 30.1% compared to that in conventional energy systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems)
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19 pages, 19548 KiB  
Article
Multi-Objective Optimization of HVAC Operation for Balancing Energy Use and Occupant Comfort in Educational Buildings
by Alessandro Franco, Carlo Bartoli, Paolo Conti, Lorenzo Miserocchi and Daniele Testi
Energies 2021, 14(10), 2847; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14102847 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2567
Abstract
The paper provides a methodology for the optimal control of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems used in public buildings, with the purpose of obtaining high comfort and safety standards along with energy efficiency. The combination of the two concurrent objectives of [...] Read more.
The paper provides a methodology for the optimal control of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems used in public buildings, with the purpose of obtaining high comfort and safety standards along with energy efficiency. The combination of the two concurrent objectives of minimizing energy use and guaranteeing high standards of occupant comfort is obtained by means of multi-objective optimization, in which a comfort model is combined along with a dynamic energy model of the building. The use of dynamic setpoints for the HVAC and the inclusion of comfort indicators represent a step forward, compared to the current design and operation procedures suggested by technical standards. The utilization of the proposed methodology is tested with reference to a case study, represented by an academic building used by the University of Pisa for educational purposes, whose extensive and variable occupancy can help to emphasize the importance of comfort in the operation of HVAC systems in different climatic conditions and with different occupancy profiles. We show how this optimization brings interesting results in terms of energy-saving (up to 30%), obtaining an increased comfort level (of more than 25%) compared to the operating conditions suggested by technical standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems)
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18 pages, 4260 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Approach to Adaptive Control and Supervisory Optimisation of HVAC Control Systems for Demand Response Applications
by Akinkunmi Adegbenro, Michael Short and Claudio Angione
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2078; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082078 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3181
Abstract
Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems account for a large percentage of energy consumption in buildings. Implementation of efficient optimisation and control mechanisms has been identified as one crucial way to help reduce and shift HVAC systems’ energy consumption to both save economic [...] Read more.
Heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems account for a large percentage of energy consumption in buildings. Implementation of efficient optimisation and control mechanisms has been identified as one crucial way to help reduce and shift HVAC systems’ energy consumption to both save economic costs and foster improved integration with renewables. This has led to the development of various control techniques, some of which have produced promising results. However, very few of these control mechanisms have fully considered important factors such as electricity time of use (TOU) price information, occupant thermal comfort, computational complexity, and nonlinear HVAC dynamics to design a demand response schema. In this paper, a novel two-stage integrated approach for such is proposed and evaluated. A model predictive control (MPC)-based optimiser for supervisory setpoint control is integrated with a digital parameter-adaptive controller for use in a demand response/demand management environment. The optimiser is designed to shift the heating load (and hence electrical load) to off-peak periods by minimising a trade-off between thermal comfort and electricity costs, generating a setpoint trajectory for the inner loop HVAC tracking controller. The tracking controller provides HVAC model information to the outer loop for calibration purposes. By way of calibrated simulations, it was found that significant energy saving and cost reduction could be achieved in comparison to a traditional on/off or variable HVAC control system with a fixed setpoint temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems)
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22 pages, 12234 KiB  
Article
Model Predictive Control with Adaptive Building Model for Heating Using the Hybrid Air-Conditioning System in a Railway Station
by Ruixin Lv, Zhongyuan Yuan, Bo Lei, Jiacheng Zheng and Xiujing Luo
Energies 2021, 14(7), 1996; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14071996 - 05 Apr 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3316
Abstract
A model predictive control (MPC) system with an adaptive building model based on thermal-electrical analogy for the hybrid air conditioning system using the radiant floor and all-air system for heating is proposed in this paper to solve the heating supply control difficulties of [...] Read more.
A model predictive control (MPC) system with an adaptive building model based on thermal-electrical analogy for the hybrid air conditioning system using the radiant floor and all-air system for heating is proposed in this paper to solve the heating supply control difficulties of the railway station on Tibetan Plateau. The MPC controller applies an off-line method of updating the building model to improve the accuracy of predicting indoor conditions. The control performance of the adaptive MPC is compared with the proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control, as well as an MPC without adaptive model through simulation constructed based on a TRNSYS-MATLAB co-simulation testbed. The results show that the implementation of the adaptive MPC can improve indoor thermal comfort and reduce 22.2% energy consumption compared to the PID control. Compared to the MPC without adaptive model, the adaptive MPC achieves fewer violations of constraints and reduces energy consumption by 11.5% through periodic model updating. This study focuses on the design of a control system to maintain indoor thermal comfort and improve system efficiency. The proposed method could also be applied in other public buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems)
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17 pages, 4361 KiB  
Article
Development of an Optimal Start Control Strategy for a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) System
by Yusung Lee and Woohyun Kim
Energies 2021, 14(2), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14020271 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
In this study, an optimal control strategy for the variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system is developed using a data-driven model and on-site data to save the building energy. Three data-based models are developed to improve the on-site applicability. The presented models are used [...] Read more.
In this study, an optimal control strategy for the variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system is developed using a data-driven model and on-site data to save the building energy. Three data-based models are developed to improve the on-site applicability. The presented models are used to determine the length of time required to bring each zone from its current temperature to the set point. The existing data are used to evaluate and validated the predictive performance of three data-based models. Experiments are conducted using three outdoor units and eight indoor units on site. The experimental test is performed to validate the performance of proposed optimal control by comparing between conventional and optimal control methods. Then, the ability to save energy wasted for maintaining temperature after temperature reaches the set points is evaluated through the comparison of energy usage. Given these results, 30.5% of energy is saved on average for each outdoor unit and the proposed optimal control strategy makes the zones comfortable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems)
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15 pages, 2561 KiB  
Article
Integrated Unfold-PCA Monitoring Application for Smart Buildings: An AHU Application Example
by Llorenç Burgas, Joan Colomer, Joaquim Melendez, Francisco Ignacio Gamero and Sergio Herraiz
Energies 2021, 14(1), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14010235 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2347
Abstract
This paper presents a complete methodology, together with its implementation as a web application, for monitoring smart buildings. The approach uses unfold-Principal Component Analysis (unfold-PCA) as a batch projection method and two statistics, Hotelling’s T-squared (T2) and the squared prediction [...] Read more.
This paper presents a complete methodology, together with its implementation as a web application, for monitoring smart buildings. The approach uses unfold-Principal Component Analysis (unfold-PCA) as a batch projection method and two statistics, Hotelling’s T-squared (T2) and the squared prediction error (SPE), for alarm generation resulting in two simple control charts independently on the number of variables involved. The method consists of modelling the normal operating conditions of a building (entire building, room or subsystem) with latent variables described expressing the principal components. Thus, the method allows detecting faults and misbehaviour as a deviation of previously mentioned statistics from their statistical thresholds. Once a fault or misbehaviour is detected, the isolation of sensors that mostly contribute to such detection is proposed as a first step for diagnosis. The methodology has been implemented under a SaaS (software as a service) approach to be offered to multiple buildings as an on-line application for facility managers. The application is general enough to be used for monitoring complete buildings, or parts of them, using on-line data. A complete example of use for monitoring the performance of the air handling unit of a lecture theatre is presented as demonstrative example and results are discussed Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Control Strategies for Buildings and HVAC Systems)
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