Optimal Management of Zero Emissions Buildings through Model Predictive Control

Project Description

“ZNE-MPC” is a research project conducted with AICIA and aimed at developing Model Predictive Control (MPC) methodologies specifically suited to match zero net energy (ZNE) building characteristics. Indeed, ZNE buildings show challenging control problems given their wide integration of multiple energy sources and active demand systems. For instance, most zero energy buildings use the electrical grid for energy storage but some are independent of grid. Energy is usually harvested on-site through a combination of energy producing technologies like solar and wind, while reducing the overall use of energy with highly efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting technologies. ZNE buildings optimal management is also closely linked with control system adaptability to users requirements. Due to this reason, “ZNE-MPC” is also focused to the development of novel sensor networks able to collect extensive information regarding environmental, occupancy and energy use parameters.

Project’s technological objectives

AICIA and IDENER cooperates to achieve the next scientific and technological areas in the frame of “ZNE-MPC” project:

  • Model development for ZNE buildings: Both simulation and control oriented models are developed. The former are complex models accounting for building processes accurate simulation and control validation, and having a large number of variables and nonlinear dynamics. The latter are simplified, linearised models aimed to the calculation of control actions and suited to be used by MPC controllers.
  • Evaluation and development of a network of wireless sensors: ZigBee communication protocol is investigated so as to develop a network of wireless sensors aimed to the distributed collection of CO2, temperature, humidity and building occupancy rates measurement. Such communication protocol is implemented in Arduino platforms which consist of an open-source hardware board designed around an 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller with complementary components to facilitate programming and incorporation into other circuits.
  • “ZNE-MPC” controller development: A Model Predictive Control system is designed so as to minimise a multi-objective function accounting for main ZNE building operational parameters while taking into account system constraints, scheduled building use and weather forecasts.
  • Knowledge dissemination: The overall objective with the planned dissemination activities is to ensure external communication about the project and the results to the public and the scientific community.

Project Details

  • Date 29 September, 2013
  • Tags Control Engineering, Energy, Public - National
  • Programme Proyectos de Excelencia (Andalusian Government)
  • Partners AICIA; IDENER
  • Project cost 197.432 EUR
  • Start date March, 2013
  • End date March, 2016
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