Posted in: Blog posts

This post presents some preliminary simulation results of the Model Predictive Control (MPC) implementation of the Infrax office building. This building consists of four floors, each containing multiple zones that are simulated individually. The ventilation of is controlled individually per zone, while the concrete core activation is controlled individually per floor. The heat and cold production devices are also controlled by the MPC, but these are not discussed in detail here. The MPC is configured to minimize the electrical power use [kWh] while maintaining the zone temperatures between 22 and 24 degrees.

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Posted in: News

Wim, as board member of EHPA, participated as an invited guest to the 2018 Asia Heat Pump and Thermal Storage Network Workshop in Busan, South Korea. The event "Go Green! Make a clean earth through heat pump technology", was organised and hosted by KTL (Korean Testing Laboratory) & KHPIF (Korean Heat Pump Industry Forum) on 6th Sept. Read more about them on their website

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Posted in: News

Our hybridGEOTABS August 2018 Newsletter is now available, and is dedicated to our partners' research and application of Model Predictive Control in the GEOTABShybrid project.   When combining GEOTABS with secondary heating & cooling systems in GEOTABShybrid, one of the key operational challenges is to decide at each point in time, again and again, which of the systems should be used. The GEOTABShybrid  solution therefore proposes the integration of both systems using an advanced type of control, Model Predictive Control (MPC).

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Posted in: News

The GEOTABShybrid solution proposes the integration of GEOTABS and secondary heating and cooling systems using an advanced type of control, Model Predictive Control (MPC). In contrast to traditional Rule Based Control (RBC), which uses heuristic control rules that are tuned using trial-and-error to take into account the buffering capacity of the GEOTABS building, MPC uses a mathematical model of the building to predict the future behaviour of the building heating and cooling needs, and uses these predictions to optimise the control of the GEOTABS and secondary systems. MPC can be used for optimizing the building operation towards various objectives, such as energy efficiency, energy cost, grid flexibility etc., while maintaining the thermal balance of the geothermal field and the thermal comfort in the building. The models used for model predictive control, can be trained from measurement data of the real building and simple physical principles (grey-box models), or they can be based on physical equations (white-box models) and physical properties of the buildings. White-box models have the benefit that they can be used as soon as the building operation starts (when no operational measurements are available yet). In the project, developments are mainly focusing on this white-box MPC approach, but the case-study building in Libeznice allows for comparison between both modelling approaches, since the original grey-box controller is modified to a white-box controller during the project. While MPC is highly beneficial for reducing building operation costs and improving its energy efficiency as well as thermal comfort, the set-up and implementation has been an expensive and complicated process until now. The set-up of the model is a highly specialised job that requires case-by-case model development, and also the adaptivity, robustness and practical implementation of the MPC bring along quite some challenges. This leads to high engineering and commissioning costs. Therefore, a toolchain has been developed that allows to set-up the model for the MPC in a semi-automated way, which considerably reduces the required engineering effort. Additionally, a strategy to start up the MPC is developed and an approach to make the MPC adaptive to changes in the building over time will be developed. Moreover, the robustness of the MPC formulation is being studied to allow for a smooth control behaviour. The theoretical MPC-developments and performance assessments by simulation are complemented with real-life testing of the MPC in a pilot building and 3 case-study hybridGEOTABS buildings. This enhances practical software and hardware implementation of the MPC in these operational buildings, monitoring of the actual performance of the building and systems before and after the MPC is implemented, and monitoring of the actual design and commissioning costs that the MPC implementation brings along. In the summer of 2018, we are preparing the first MPC-implementations in the school of Libeznice (CZ) and the Infrax office building in Dilbeek (BE)! In summary, this project removes the barriers that prevent MPC from being widely implemented, and demonstrates the performance and benefits of the integrated GEOTABShybrid concept with MPC. 

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Posted in: Events

Join us at our hybridGEOTABS MPC Workshop (and Webinar) Theme: Model Predictive Control (MPC) hosted by ENERGOKLASTR and CVUT on Weds 17th October 2018 (8.30am-6pm) at: Czech Technological University, 1580/3 Jugoslávských partyzánů, Prague 6, Prague 16000, CZ Room B-246 (or via the webinar) Register here      

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Posted in: News

Our GEOTABShybrid partners from KU Leuven and Boydens engineering attended the High Performance Building (HPB) Conference and Intelligent Building Operation (IBO) Workshop at Purdue University with a series of presentations about MPC and control-oriented-modelling for buildings. Filip Jorissen presented work on implementation of MPC in the GEOTABShybrid  case study building Infrax, in Dilbeek (Belgium).  Damien Picard explained his work on MPC hybridGEOTABS buildings including the project demo building Ter Potterie.  Iago Cupeiro Figueroa also presented his work on state observers for optimal-building-control using white-box models, applied to the hybridGEOTABS case study building, Infrax. Their papers will soon be published open-access on the Purdue University Website

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