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Optimal predictive control of thermal storage in hollow core ventilated slab systems

By Mei J. Ren


A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough UniversityThe energy crisis together with greater environmental awareness, has increased interest\ud in the construction of low energy buildings. Fabric thermal storage systems\ud provide a promising approach for reducing building energy use and cost, and consequently,\ud the emission of environmental pollutants. Hollow core ventilated slab\ud systems are a form of fabric thermal storage system that, through the coupling of\ud the ventilation air with the mass of the slab, are effective in utilizing the building\ud fabric as a thermal store. However, the benefit of such systems can only be realized\ud through the effective control of the thermal storage. This thesis investigates an\ud optimum control strategy for the hollow core ventilated slab systems, that reduces\ud the energy cost of the system without prejudicing the building occupants thermal\ud comfort.\ud The controller uses the predicted ambient temperature and solar radiation, together\ud with a model of the building, to predict the energy costs of the system\ud and the thermal comfort conditions in the occupied space. The optimum control\ud strategy is identified by exercising the model with a numerical optimization\ud method, such that the energy costs are minimized without violating the building\ud occupant's thermal comfort. The thesis describes the use of an Auto Regressive\ud Moving Average model to predict the ambient conditions for the next 24 hours.\ud A building dynamic lumped parameter thermal network model, is also described,\ud together with its validation. The implementation of a Genetic Algorithm search\ud method for optimizing the control strategy is described, and its performance in\ud finding an optimum solution analysed.\ud The characteristics of the optimum schedule of control setpoints are investigated\ud for each season, from which a simplified time-stage control strategy is derived. The\ud effects of weather prediction errors on the optimum control strategy are investigated\ud and the performance of the optimum controller is analysed and compared\ud to a conventional rule-based control strategy. The on-line implementation of the\ud optimal predictive controller would require the accurate estimation of parameters\ud for modelling the building, which could form part of future work

Topics: Building fabric thermal storage system, Hollow core ventilated slab system, Optimal predictive control, Thermal comfort, Weather prediction, Genetic algorithm, Control optimization, Lumped parameter thermal network model
Publisher: © Mei Juan Ren
Year: 1997
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