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Title: Predictive Optimal Control of Active and Passive Building Thermal Storage Inventory

Abstract

Cooling of commercial buildings contributes significantly to the peak demand placed on an electrical utility grid. Time-of-use electricity rates encourage shifting of electrical loads to off-peak periods at night and weekends. Buildings can respond to these pricing signals by shifting cooling-related thermal loads either by precooling the building's massive structure or the use of active thermal energy storage systems such as ice storage. While these two thermal batteries have been engaged separately in the past, this project investigated the merits of harnessing both storage media concurrently in the context of predictive optimal control. To pursue the analysis, modeling, and simulation research of Phase 1, two separate simulation environments were developed. Based on the new dynamic building simulation program EnergyPlus, a utility rate module, two thermal energy storage models were added. Also, a sequential optimization approach to the cost minimization problem using direct search, gradient-based, and dynamic programming methods was incorporated. The objective function was the total utility bill including the cost of reheat and a time-of-use electricity rate either with or without demand charges. An alternative simulation environment based on TRNSYS and Matlab was developed to allow for comparison and cross-validation with EnergyPlus. The initial evaluation of the theoretical potentialmore » of the combined optimal control assumed perfect weather prediction and match between the building model and the actual building counterpart. The analysis showed that the combined utilization leads to cost savings that is significantly greater than either storage but less than the sum of the individual savings. The findings reveal that the cooling-related on-peak electrical demand of commercial buildings can be considerably reduced. A subsequent analysis of the impact of forecasting uncertainty in the required short-term weather forecasts determined that it takes only very simple short-term prediction models to realize almost all of the theoretical potential of this control strategy. Further work evaluated the impact of modeling accuracy on the model-based closed-loop predictive optimal controller to minimize utility cost. The following guidelines have been derived: For an internal heat gain dominated commercial building, reasonable geometry simplifications are acceptable without a loss of cost savings potential. In fact, zoning simplification may improve optimizer performance and save computation time. The mass of the internal structure did not show a strong effect on the optimization. Building construction characteristics were found to impact building passive thermal storage capacity. It is thus advisable to make sure the construction material is well modeled. Zone temperature setpoint profiles and TES performance are strongly affected by mismatches in internal heat gains, especially when they are underestimated. Since they are a key factor in determining the building cooling load, efforts should be made to keep the internal gain mismatch as small as possible. Efficiencies of the building energy systems affect both zone temperature setpoints and active TES operation because of the coupling of the base chiller for building precooling and the icemaking TES chiller. Relative efficiencies of the base and TES chillers will determine the balance of operation of the two chillers. The impact of mismatch in this category may be significant. Next, a parametric analysis was conducted to assess the effects of building mass, utility rate, building location and season, thermal comfort, central plant capacities, and an economizer on the cost saving performance of optimal control for active and passive building thermal storage inventory. The key findings are: (1) Heavy-mass buildings, strong-incentive time-of-use electrical utility rates, and large on-peak cooling loads will likely lead to attractive savings resulting from optimal combined thermal storage control. (2) By using economizer to take advantage of the cool fresh air during the night, the building electrical cost can be reduced by using less mechanical cooling. (3) Larger base chiller and active thermal storage capacities have the potential of shifting more cooling loads to off-peak hours and thus higher savings can be achieved. (4) Optimal combined thermal storage control with a thermal comfort penalty included in the objective function can improve the thermal comfort levels of building occupants when compared to the non-optimized base case. Lab testing conducted in the Larson HVAC Laboratory during Phase 2 showed that the EnergyPlus-based simulation was a surprisingly accurate prediction of the experiment. Therefore, actual savings of building energy costs can be expected by applying optimal controls from simulation results.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
894509
DOE Contract Number:  
FC26-01NT41255
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 25 ENERGY STORAGE; COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS; COOLING LOAD; DYNAMIC PROGRAMMING; ENERGY ACCOUNTING; ENERGY STORAGE; ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS; ENERGY SYSTEMS; HEAT GAIN; HEAT STORAGE; OPTIMAL CONTROL; PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS; STORAGE; THERMAL BATTERIES; THERMAL COMFORT

Citation Formats

Henze, Gregor P, and Krarti, Moncef. Predictive Optimal Control of Active and Passive Building Thermal Storage Inventory. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/894509.
Henze, Gregor P, & Krarti, Moncef. Predictive Optimal Control of Active and Passive Building Thermal Storage Inventory. United States. doi:10.2172/894509.
Henze, Gregor P, and Krarti, Moncef. Fri . "Predictive Optimal Control of Active and Passive Building Thermal Storage Inventory". United States. doi:10.2172/894509. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/894509.
@article{osti_894509,
title = {Predictive Optimal Control of Active and Passive Building Thermal Storage Inventory},
author = {Henze, Gregor P and Krarti, Moncef},
abstractNote = {Cooling of commercial buildings contributes significantly to the peak demand placed on an electrical utility grid. Time-of-use electricity rates encourage shifting of electrical loads to off-peak periods at night and weekends. Buildings can respond to these pricing signals by shifting cooling-related thermal loads either by precooling the building's massive structure or the use of active thermal energy storage systems such as ice storage. While these two thermal batteries have been engaged separately in the past, this project investigated the merits of harnessing both storage media concurrently in the context of predictive optimal control. To pursue the analysis, modeling, and simulation research of Phase 1, two separate simulation environments were developed. Based on the new dynamic building simulation program EnergyPlus, a utility rate module, two thermal energy storage models were added. Also, a sequential optimization approach to the cost minimization problem using direct search, gradient-based, and dynamic programming methods was incorporated. The objective function was the total utility bill including the cost of reheat and a time-of-use electricity rate either with or without demand charges. An alternative simulation environment based on TRNSYS and Matlab was developed to allow for comparison and cross-validation with EnergyPlus. The initial evaluation of the theoretical potential of the combined optimal control assumed perfect weather prediction and match between the building model and the actual building counterpart. The analysis showed that the combined utilization leads to cost savings that is significantly greater than either storage but less than the sum of the individual savings. The findings reveal that the cooling-related on-peak electrical demand of commercial buildings can be considerably reduced. A subsequent analysis of the impact of forecasting uncertainty in the required short-term weather forecasts determined that it takes only very simple short-term prediction models to realize almost all of the theoretical potential of this control strategy. Further work evaluated the impact of modeling accuracy on the model-based closed-loop predictive optimal controller to minimize utility cost. The following guidelines have been derived: For an internal heat gain dominated commercial building, reasonable geometry simplifications are acceptable without a loss of cost savings potential. In fact, zoning simplification may improve optimizer performance and save computation time. The mass of the internal structure did not show a strong effect on the optimization. Building construction characteristics were found to impact building passive thermal storage capacity. It is thus advisable to make sure the construction material is well modeled. Zone temperature setpoint profiles and TES performance are strongly affected by mismatches in internal heat gains, especially when they are underestimated. Since they are a key factor in determining the building cooling load, efforts should be made to keep the internal gain mismatch as small as possible. Efficiencies of the building energy systems affect both zone temperature setpoints and active TES operation because of the coupling of the base chiller for building precooling and the icemaking TES chiller. Relative efficiencies of the base and TES chillers will determine the balance of operation of the two chillers. The impact of mismatch in this category may be significant. Next, a parametric analysis was conducted to assess the effects of building mass, utility rate, building location and season, thermal comfort, central plant capacities, and an economizer on the cost saving performance of optimal control for active and passive building thermal storage inventory. The key findings are: (1) Heavy-mass buildings, strong-incentive time-of-use electrical utility rates, and large on-peak cooling loads will likely lead to attractive savings resulting from optimal combined thermal storage control. (2) By using economizer to take advantage of the cool fresh air during the night, the building electrical cost can be reduced by using less mechanical cooling. (3) Larger base chiller and active thermal storage capacities have the potential of shifting more cooling loads to off-peak hours and thus higher savings can be achieved. (4) Optimal combined thermal storage control with a thermal comfort penalty included in the objective function can improve the thermal comfort levels of building occupants when compared to the non-optimized base case. Lab testing conducted in the Larson HVAC Laboratory during Phase 2 showed that the EnergyPlus-based simulation was a surprisingly accurate prediction of the experiment. Therefore, actual savings of building energy costs can be expected by applying optimal controls from simulation results.},
doi = {10.2172/894509},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {9}
}