Model Predictive Control (MPC) has recently gained special attention to efficiently regulate Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems of buildings, since it explicitly allows energy savings while maintaining thermal comfort criteria. In this paper we propose a MPC algorithm for the on-line optimization of both the indoor thermal comfort and the related energy consumption of buildings. We use Fanger's Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) as thermal comfort index, while to predict the energy performance of the building, we adopt a simplified thermal model. This allows computing optimal control actions by defining and solving a tractable non-linear optimization problem that incorporates the PMV index into the MPC cost function in addition to a term accounting for energy saving. The proposed MPC approach is implemented on a building automation system deployed in an office building located at the Polytechnic of Bari (Italy). Several on-field tests are performed to assess the applicability and efficacy of the control algorithm in a real environment against classical thermal comfort control approach based on the use of thermostats.
Carli, R., Cavone, G., Dotoli, M., Epicoco, N., Scarabaggio, P. (2019). Model predictive control for thermal comfort optimization in building energy management systems. In IEEE International Conference on Systems Man and Cybernetics (pp.2608-2613). 345 E 47TH ST, NEW YORK, NY 10017 USA : IEEE [10.1109/SMC.2019.8914489].