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A Modular Building Controls Virtual Test Bed for the Integrations of Heterogeneous Systems

Description: This paper describes the Building Controls Virtual Test Bed (BCVTB) that is currently under development at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. An earlier prototype linked EnergyPlus with controls hardware through embedded SPARK models and demonstrated its value in more cost-effective envelope design and improved controls sequences for the San Francisco Federal Building. The BCVTB presented here is a more modular design based on a middleware that we built using Ptolemy II, a modular software environment for design and analysis of heterogeneous systems. Ptolemy II provides a graphical model building environment, synchronizes the exchanged data and visualizes the system evolution during run-time. Our additions to Ptolemy II allow users to couple to Ptolemy II a prototype version of EnergyPlus,MATLAB/Simulink or other simulation programs for data exchange during run-time. In future work we will also implement a BACnet interface that allows coupling BACnet compliant building automation systems to Ptolemy II. We will present the architecture of the BCVTB and explain how users can add their own simulation programs to the BCVTB. We will then present an example application in which the building envelope and the HVAC system was simulated in EnergyPlus, the supervisory control logic was simulated in MATLAB/Simulink and Ptolemy II was used to exchange data during run-time and to provide realtime visualization as the simulation progresses.
Date: June 30, 2008
Creator: Wetter, Michael; Wetter, Michael & Haves, Philip
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Co-Simulation of Building Energy and Control Systems with the Building Controls Virtual Test Bed

Description: This article describes the implementation of the Building Controls Virtual Test Bed (BCVTB). The BCVTB is a software environment that allows connecting different simulation programs to exchange data during the time integration, and that allows conducting hardware in the loop simulation. The software architecture is a modular design based on Ptolemy II, a software environment for design and analysis of heterogeneous systems. Ptolemy II provides a graphical model building environment, synchronizes the exchanged data and visualizes the system evolution during run-time. The BCVTB provides additions to Ptolemy II that allow the run-time coupling of different simulation programs for data exchange, including EnergyPlus, MATLAB, Simulink and the Modelica modelling and simulation environment Dymola. The additions also allow executing system commands, such as a script that executes a Radiance simulation. In this article, the software architecture is presented and the mathematical model used to implement the co-simulation is discussed. The simulation program interface that the BCVTB provides is explained. The article concludes by presenting applications in which different state of the art simulation programs are linked for run-time data exchange. This link allows the use of the simulation program that is best suited for the particular problem to model building heat transfer, HVAC system dynamics and control algorithms, and to compute a solution to the coupled problem using co-simulation.
Date: August 22, 2010
Creator: Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A View on Future Building System Modeling and Simulation

Description: This chapter presents what a future environment for building system modeling and simulation may look like. As buildings continue to require increased performance and better comfort, their energy and control systems are becoming more integrated and complex. We therefore focus in this chapter on the modeling, simulation and analysis of building energy and control systems. Such systems can be classified as heterogeneous systems because they involve multiple domains, such as thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer, electrical systems, control systems and communication systems. Also, they typically involve multiple temporal and spatial scales, and their evolution can be described by coupled differential equations, discrete equations and events. Modeling and simulating such systems requires a higher level of abstraction and modularisation to manage the increased complexity compared to what is used in today's building simulation programs. Therefore, the trend towards more integrated building systems is likely to be a driving force for changing the status quo of today's building simulation programs. Thischapter discusses evolving modeling requirements and outlines a path toward a future environment for modeling and simulation of heterogeneous building systems.A range of topics that would require many additional pages of discussion has been omitted. Examples include computational fluid dynamics for air and particle flow in and around buildings, people movement, daylight simulation, uncertainty propagation and optimisation methods for building design and controls. For different discussions and perspectives on the future of building modeling and simulation, we refer to Sahlin (2000), Augenbroe (2001) and Malkawi and Augenbroe (2004).
Date: April 1, 2011
Creator: Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generic Optimization Program User Manual Version 3.0.0

Description: GenOpt is an optimization program for the minimization of a cost function that is evaluated by an external simulation program. It has been developed for optimization problems where the cost function is computationally expensive and its derivatives are not available or may not even exist. GenOpt can be coupled to any simulation program that reads its input from text files and writes its output to text files. The independent variables can be continuous variables (possibly with lower and upper bounds), discrete variables, or both, continuous and discrete variables. Constraints on dependent variables can be implemented using penalty or barrier functions. GenOpt uses parallel computing to evaluate the simulations. GenOpt has a library with local and global multi-dimensional and one-dimensional optimization algorithms, and algorithms for doing parametric runs. An algorithm interface allows adding new minimization algorithms without knowing the details of the program structure. GenOpt is written in Java so that it is platform independent. The platform independence and the general interface make GenOpt applicable to a wide range of optimization problems. GenOpt has not been designed for linear programming problems, quadratic programming problems, and problems where the gradient of the cost function is available. For such problems, as well as for other problems, special tailored software exists that is more efficient.
Date: May 11, 2009
Creator: Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Modelica-based Model Library for Building Energy and Control Systems

Description: This paper describes an open-source library with component models for building energy and control systems that is based on Modelica, an equation-based objectoriented language that is well positioned to become the standard for modeling of dynamic systems in various industrial sectors. The library is currently developed to support computational science and engineering for innovative building energy and control systems. Early applications will include controls design and analysis, rapid prototyping to support innovation of new building systems and the use of models during operation for controls, fault detection and diagnostics. This paper discusses the motivation for selecting an equation-based object-oriented language. It presents the architecture of the library and explains how base models can be used to rapidly implement new models. To demonstrate the capability of analyzing novel energy and control systems, the paper closes with an example where we compare the dynamic performance of a conventional hydronic heating system with thermostatic radiator valves to an innovative heating system. In the new system, instead of a centralized circulation pump, each of the 18 radiators has a pump whose speed is controlled using a room temperature feedback loop, and the temperature of the boiler is controlled based on the speed of the radiator pump. All flows are computed by solving for the pressure distribution in the piping network, and the controls include continuous and discrete time controls.
Date: April 7, 2009
Creator: Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Modelica-based Modeling and Simulation to Support Research and Development in Building Energy and Control Systems

Description: Traditional building simulation programs possess attributes that make them difficult to use for the design and analysis of building energy and control systems and for the support of model-based research and development of systems that may not already be implemented in these programs. This article presents characteristic features of such applications, and it shows how equation-based object-oriented modelling can meet requirements that arise in such applications. Next, the implementation of an open-source component model library for building energy systems is presented. The library has been developed using the equation-based object-oriented Modelica modelling language. Technical challenges of modelling and simulating such systems are discussed. Research needs are presented to make this technology accessible to user groups that have more stringent requirements with respect to the numerical robustness of simulation than a research community may have. Two examples are presented in which models from the here described library were used. The first example describes the design of a controller for a nonlinear model of a heating coil using model reduction and frequency domain analysis. The second example describes the tuning of control parameters for a static pressure reset controller of a variable air volume flow system. The tuning has been done by solving a non-convex optimization problem that minimizes fan energy subject to state constraints.
Date: February 12, 2009
Creator: Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Simulation model finned water-air-coil withoutcondensation

Description: A simple simulation model of a finned water-to- air coil without condensation is presented. The model belongs to a collection of simulation models that allows eficient computer simulation of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. The main emphasis of the models is short computation time and use of input data that are known in the design process of an HVAC system. The target of the models is to describe the behavior of HVAC components in the part load operation mode, which is becoming increasingly important for energy efficient HVAC systems. The models are intended to be used for yearly energy calculation or load calculation with time steps of about 10 minutes or larger. Short-time dynamic effects, which are of interest for different aspects of control performance, are neglected. The part load behavior of the coil is expressed in terms of the nominal condition and the dimensionless variation of the heat transfer with change of mass flow and temperature on the water side and the air side. The effectiveness- NTU relations are used to parametrize the convective heat transfer at nominal conditions and to compute the part load conditions. Geometrical data for the coil are not required, The calculation of the convective heat transfer coefficients at nominal conditions is based on the ratio of the air side heat transfer coefficients multiplied by the fin eficiency and divided by the water side heat transfer coefficient. In this approach, the only geometrical information required are the cross section areas, which are needed to calculate the~uid velocities. The formulas for estimating this ratio are presented. For simplicity the model ignores condensation. The model is static and uses only explicit equations. The explicit formulation ensures short computation time and numerical stability. This allows using the model with sophisticated engineering methods such as automatic system optimization. ...
Date: January 1, 1999
Creator: Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Using SPARK as a Solver for Modelica

Description: Modelica is an object-oriented acausal modeling language that is well positioned to become a de-facto standard for expressing models of complex physical systems. To simulate a model expressed in Modelica, it needs to be translated into executable code. For generating run-time efficient code, such a translation needs to employ algebraic formula manipulations. As the SPARK solver has been shown to be competitive for generating such code but currently cannot be used with the Modelica language, we report in this paper how SPARK's symbolic and numerical algorithms can be implemented in OpenModelica, an open-source implementation of a Modelica modeling and simulation environment. We also report benchmark results that show that for our air flow network simulation benchmark, the SPARK solver is competitive with Dymola, which is believed to provide the best solver for Modelica.
Date: June 30, 2008
Creator: Wetter, Michael; Wetter, Michael; Haves, Philip; Moshier, Michael A. & Sowell, Edward F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recent Developments of the Modelica"Buildings" Library for Building Energy and Control Systems

Description: At the Modelica 2009 conference, we introduced the Buildings library, a freely available Modelica library for building energy and control systems. This paper reports the updates of the library and presents example applications for a range of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Over the past two years, the library has been further developed. The number of HVAC components models has been doubled and various components have been revised to increase numerical robustness.The paper starts with an overview of the library architecture and a description of the main packages. To demonstrate the features of the Buildings library, applications that include multizone airflow simulation as well as supervisory and local loop control of a variable air volume (VAV) system are briefly described. The paper closes with a discussion of the current development.
Date: April 1, 2011
Creator: Wetter, Michael; Zuo, Wangda & Nouidui, Thierry Stephane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Acceleration of Radiance for Lighting Simulation by Using Parallel Computing with OpenCL

Description: We report on the acceleration of annual daylighting simulations for fenestration systems in the Radiance ray-tracing program. The algorithm was optimized to reduce both the redundant data input/output operations and the floating-point operations. To further accelerate the simulation speed, the calculation for matrix multiplications was implemented using parallel computing on a graphics processing unit. We used OpenCL, which is a cross-platform parallel programming language. Numerical experiments show that the combination of the above measures can speed up the annual daylighting simulations 101.7 times or 28.6 times when the sky vector has 146 or 2306 elements, respectively.
Date: September 6, 2011
Creator: Zuo, Wangda; McNeil, Andrew; Wetter, Michael & Lee, Eleanor
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A comparison of global optimization algorithms with standard benchmark functions and real-world applications using Energy Plus

Description: There is an increasing interest in the use of computer algorithms to identify combinations of parameters which optimise the energy performance of buildings. For such problems, the objective function can be multi-modal and needs to be approximated numerically using building energy simulation programs. As these programs contain iterative solution algorithms, they introduce discontinuities in the numerical approximation to the objective function. Metaheuristics often work well for such problems, but their convergence to a global optimum cannot be established formally. Moreover, different algorithms tend to be suited to particular classes of optimization problems. To shed light on this issue we compared the performance of two metaheuristics, the hybrid CMA-ES/HDE and the hybrid PSO/HJ, in minimizing standard benchmark functions and real-world building energy optimization problems of varying complexity. From this we find that the CMA-ES/HDE performs well on more complex objective functions, but that the PSO/HJ more consistently identifies the global minimum for simpler objective functions. Both identified similar values in the objective functions arising from energy simulations, but with different combinations of model parameters. This may suggest that the objective function is multi-modal. The algorithms also correctly identified some non-intuitive parameter combinations that were caused by a simplified control sequence of the building energy system that does not represent actual practice, further reinforcing their utility.
Date: September 1, 2009
Creator: Kamph, Jerome Henri; Robinson, Darren & Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An implementation of co-simulation for performance prediction of innovative integrated HVAC systems in buildings

Description: Integrated performance simulation of buildings and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems can help reducing energy consumption and increasing level of occupant comfort. However, no singe building performance simulation (BPS) tool offers sufficient capabilities and flexibilities to accommodate the ever-increasing complexity and rapid innovations in building and system technologies. One way to alleviate this problem is to use co-simulation. The co-simulation approach represents a particular case of simulation scenario where at least two simulators solve coupled differential-algebraic systems of equations and exchange data that couples these equations during the time integration. This paper elaborates on issues important for co-simulation realization and discusses multiple possibilities to justify the particular approach implemented in a co-simulation prototype. The prototype is verified and validated against the results obtained from the traditional simulation approach. It is further used in a case study for the proof-of-concept, to demonstrate the applicability of the method and to highlight its benefits. Stability and accuracy of different coupling strategies are analyzed to give a guideline for the required coupling frequency. The paper concludes by defining requirements and recommendations for generic cosimulation implementations.
Date: July 1, 2010
Creator: Trcka, Marija; Wetter, Michael & Hensen, Jan L.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Coupling of ESP-R and Genopt: A Simple Case Study

Description: This paper describes and demonstrates how to use the optimization program GenOpt with the building energy simulation program ESP-r. GenOpt, a generic optimization program, minimises an objective function that is evaluated by an external simulation program. It has been developed for optimization problems that are computationally expensive and that may have nonsmooth objective functions. ESP-r is a research oriented building simulation program that is well validated and has been used to conduct various building energy analysis studies. In this paper, the necessary file preparations are described and a simple optimization example is presented.
Date: July 1, 2010
Creator: Peeters, Leen; D'haeseleer, William; Ferguson, Alex & Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Co-simulation for performance prediction of integrated building and HVAC systems - An analysis of solution characteristics using a two-body system

Description: Integrated performance simulation of buildings and heating, ventilation and airconditioning (HVAC) systems can help reducing energy consumption and increasing occupant comfort. However, no single building performance simulation (BPS) tool offers suffcient capabilities and flexibilities to analyze integrated building systems and to enable rapid prototyping of innovative building and system technologies. One way to alleviate this problem is to use co-simulation to integrate different BPS tools. Co-simulation approach represents a particular case of simulation scenario where at least two simulators solve coupled differential-algebraic systems of equations and exchange data that couples these equations during the time integration. This article analyzes how co-simulation influences consistency, stability and accuracy of the numerical approximation to the solution. Consistency and zero-stability are studied for a general class of the problem, while a detailed consistency and absolute stability analysis is given for a simple two-body problem. Since the accuracy of the numerical approximation to the solution is reduced in co-simulation, the article concludes by discussing ways for how to improve accuracy.
Date: June 21, 2010
Creator: Trcka, Marija; L.M. Hensena, Jan & Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Standardization of Thermo-Fluid Modeling in Modelica.Fluid

Description: This article discusses the Modelica.Fluid library that has been included in the Modelica Standard Library 3.1. Modelica.Fluid provides interfaces and basic components for the device-oriented modeling of onedimensional thermo-fluid flow in networks containing vessels, pipes, fluid machines, valves and fittings. A unique feature of Modelica.Fluid is that the component equations and the media models as well as pressure loss and heat transfer correlations are decoupled from each other. All components are implemented such that they can be used for media from the Modelica.Media library. This means that an incompressible or compressible medium, a single or a multiple substance medium with one or more phases might be used with one and the same model as long as the modeling assumptions made hold. Furthermore, trace substances are supported. Modeling assumptions can be configured globally in an outer System object. This covers in particular the initialization, uni- or bi-directional flow, and dynamic or steady-state formulation of mass, energy, and momentum balance. All assumptions can be locally refined for every component. While Modelica.Fluid contains a reasonable set of component models, the goal of the library is not to provide a comprehensive set of models, but rather to provide interfaces and best practices for the treatment of issues such as connector design and implementation of energy, mass and momentum balances. Applications from various domains are presented.
Date: September 1, 2009
Creator: Franke, Rudiger; Casella, Francesco; Sielemann, Michael; Proelss, Katrin; Otter, Martin & Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Co-simulation of innovative integrated HVAC systems in buildings

Description: Integrated performance simulation of buildings HVAC systems can help in reducing energy consumption and increasing occupant comfort. However, no single building performance simulation (BPS) tool offers sufficient capabilities and flexibilities to analyze integrated building systems and to enable rapid prototyping of innovative building and system technologies. One way to alleviate this problem is to use co-simulation, as an integrated approach to simulation. This article elaborates on issues important for co-simulation realization and discusses multiple possibilities to justify the particular approach implemented in the here described co-simulation prototype. The prototype is validated with the results obtained from the traditional simulation approach. It is further used in a proof-of-concept case study to demonstrate the applicability of the method and to highlight its benefits. Stability and accuracy of different coupling strategies are analyzed to give a guideline for the required coupling time step.
Date: June 21, 2010
Creator: Trcka, Marija; Hensena, Jan L.M. & Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Simulation model air-to-air plate heat exchanger

Description: A simple simulation model of an air-to-air plate heat exchanger is presented. The model belongs to a collection of simulation models that allows the eflcient computer simulation of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. The main emphasis of the models is to shorten computation time and to use only input data that are known in the design process of an HVAC system. The target of the models is to describe the behavior of HVAC components in the part-load operation mode, which is becoming increasingly important in energy eficient HVAC systems. The models are intended to be used for yearly energy calculations or load calculations with time steps of about 10 minutes or larger. Short- time dynamic effects, which are of interest for different aspects of control theory, are neglected. The part-load behavior is expressed in terms of the nominal condition and the dimensionless variation of the heat transfer with change of mass flow and temperature. The effectiveness- NTU relations are used to parametrize the convective heat transfer at nominal conditions and to compute the part-load condition. If the heat transfer coefficients on the two exchanger sides are not equal (i. e. due to partial bypassing of air), their ratio can be easily calculated and set as a parameter. The model is static and uses explicit equations only. The explicit model formulation ensures short computation time and numerical stability, which allows using the model with sophisticated engineering methods like automatic system optimization. This paper fully outlines the algorithm description and its simplifications. It is not tailored for any particular simulation program to ensure easy implementation in any simulation program.
Date: January 1, 1999
Creator: Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparing Computer Run Time of Building Simulation Programs

Description: This paper presents an approach to comparing computer run time of building simulation programs. The computing run time of a simulation program depends on several key factors, including the calculation algorithm and modeling capabilities of the program, the run period, the simulation time step, the complexity of the energy models, the run control settings, and the software and hardware configurations of the computer that is used to make the simulation runs. To demonstrate the approach, simulation runs are performed for several representative DOE-2.1E and EnergyPlus energy models. The computer run time of these energy models are then compared and analyzed.
Date: July 23, 2008
Creator: Hong, Tianzhen; Buhl, Fred; Haves, Philip; Selkowitz, Stephen & Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Model Predictive Control of HVAC Systems: Implementation and Testing at the University of California, Merced

Description: A Model Predictive Control algorithm was developed for the UC Merced campus chilled water plant. Model predictive control (MPC) is an advanced control technology that has proven successful in the chemical process industry and other industries. The main goal of the research was to demonstrate the practical and commercial viability of MPC for optimization of building energy systems. The control algorithms were developed and implemented in MATLAB, allowing for rapid development, performance, and robustness assessment. The UC Merced chilled water plant includes three water-cooled chillers and a two million gallon chilled water storage tank. The tank is charged during the night to minimize on-peak electricity consumption and take advantage of the lower ambient wet bulb temperature. The control algorithms determined the optimal chilled water plant operation including chilled water supply (CHWS) temperature set-point, condenser water supply (CWS) temperature set-point and the charging start and stop times to minimize a cost function that includes energy consumption and peak electrical demand over a 3-day prediction horizon. A detailed model of the chilled water plant and simplified models of the buildings served by the plant were developed using the equation-based modeling language Modelica. Steady state models of the chillers, cooling towers and pumps were developed, based on manufacturers performance data, and calibrated using measured data collected and archived by the control system. A detailed dynamic model of the chilled water storage tank was also developed and calibrated. Simple, semi-empirical models were developed to predict the temperature and flow rate of the chilled water returning to the plant from the buildings. These models were then combined and simplified for use in a model predictive control algorithm that determines the optimal chiller start and stop times and set-points for the condenser water temperature and the chilled water supply temperature. The report describes the development and ...
Date: June 29, 2010
Creator: Haves, Phillip; Hencey, Brandon; Borrell, Francesco; Elliot, John; Ma, Yudong; Coffey, Brian et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generalized pattern search algorithms with adaptive precision function evaluations

Description: In the literature on generalized pattern search algorithms, convergence to a stationary point of a once continuously differentiable cost function is established under the assumption that the cost function can be evaluated exactly. However, there is a large class of engineering problems where the numerical evaluation of the cost function involves the solution of systems of differential algebraic equations. Since the termination criteria of the numerical solvers often depend on the design parameters, computer code for solving these systems usually defines a numerical approximation to the cost function that is discontinuous with respect to the design parameters. Standard generalized pattern search algorithms have been applied heuristically to such problems, but no convergence properties have been stated. In this paper we extend a class of generalized pattern search algorithms to a form that uses adaptive precision approximations to the cost function. These numerical approximations need not define a continuous function. Our algorithms can be used for solving linearly constrained problems with cost functions that are at least locally Lipschitz continuous. Assuming that the cost function is smooth, we prove that our algorithms converge to a stationary point. Under the weaker assumption that the cost function is only locally Lipschitz continuous, we show that our algorithms converge to points at which the Clarke generalized directional derivatives are nonnegative in predefined directions. An important feature of our adaptive precision scheme is the use of coarse approximations in the early iterations, with the approximation precision controlled by a test. Such an approach leads to substantial time savings in minimizing computationally expensive functions.
Date: May 14, 2003
Creator: Polak, Elijah & Wetter, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Real-Time Building Energy Simulation Using EnergyPlus and the Building Controls Test Bed

Description: Most commercial buildings do not perform as well in practice as intended by the design and their performances often deteriorate over time. Reasons include faulty construction, malfunctioning equipment, incorrectly configured control systems and inappropriate operating procedures (Haves et al., 2001, Lee et al., 2007). To address this problem, the paper presents a simulation-based whole building performance monitoring tool that allows a comparison of building actual performance and expected performance in real time. The tool continuously acquires relevant building model input variables from existing Energy Management and Control System (EMCS). It then reports expected energy consumption as simulated of EnergyPlus. The Building Control Virtual Test Bed (BCVTB) is used as the software platform to provide data linkage between the EMCS, an EnergyPlus model, and a database. This paper describes the integrated real-time simulation environment. A proof-of-concept demonstration is also presented in the paper.
Date: November 1, 2011
Creator: Pang, Xiufeng; Bhattachayra, Prajesh; O'Neill, Zheng; Haves, Philip; Wetter, Michael & Bailey, Trevor
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department