Development of robust building energy demand-side control strategy under uncertainty

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Kim, Sean Hay
Augenbroe, Godfried
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The potential of carbon emission regulations applied to an individual building will encourage building owners to purchase utility-provided green power or to employ onsite renewable energy generation. As both cases are based on intermittent renewable energy sources, demand side control is a fundamental precondition for maximizing the effectiveness of using renewable energy sources. Such control leads to a reduction in peak demand and/or in energy demand variability, therefore, such reduction in the demand profile eventually enhances the efficiency of an erratic supply of renewable energy. The combined operation of active thermal energy storage and passive building thermal mass has shown substantial improvement in demand-side control performance when compared to current state-of-the-art demand-side control measures. Specifically, "model-based" optimal control for this operation has the potential to significantly increase performance and bring economic advantages. However, due to the uncertainty in certain operating conditions in the field its control effectiveness could be diminished and/or seriously damaged, which results in poor performance. This dissertation pursues improvements of current demand-side controls under uncertainty by proposing a robust supervisory demand-side control strategy that is designed to be immune from uncertainty and perform consistently under uncertain conditions. Uniqueness and superiority of the proposed robust demand-side controls are found as below: a. It is developed based on fundamental studies about uncertainty and a systematic approach to uncertainty analysis. b. It reduces variability of performance under varied conditions, and thus avoids the worst case scenario. c. It is reactive in cases of critical "discrepancies" observed caused by the unpredictable uncertainty that typically scenario uncertainty imposes, and thus it increases control efficiency. This is obtainable by means of i) multi-source composition of weather forecasts including both historical archive and online sources and ii) adaptive Multiple model-based controls (MMC) to mitigate detrimental impacts of varying scenario uncertainties. The proposed robust demand-side control strategy verifies its outstanding demand-side control performance in varied and non-indigenous conditions compared to the existing control strategies including deterministic optimal controls. This result reemphasizes importance of the demand-side control for a building in the global carbon economy. It also demonstrates a capability of risk management of the proposed robust demand-side controls in highly uncertain situations, which eventually attains the maximum benefit in both theoretical and practical perspectives.
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