A CFD-based test method for control of indoor environment and space ventilation

Zhongwei Sun, Shengwei Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


System dynamic simulation has been adopted to test and evaluate the local and supervisory control of air-conditioning systems for over twenty years, while the modeling of the space ventilation was usually simulated using perfect mixing models. However, the complete-mixing air model fails to consider the impact of non-uniform air temperature stratifications. This paper presents a CFD-based virtual test method for control and optimization of indoor environment by combining a ventilated room with a ventilation control system. The ventilated room and its dynamic ventilation control system are represented by a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and models of the temperature sensor, PID controller and actuator and VAV damper model respectively. The ventilation and its control system are programmed using the user defined function program and interfaced with the CFD model. A space temperature offset model is developed to improve the accuracy of temperature measurement and control at the occupied zone as a virtual sensor. Case studies show that the ventilation control models can interoperate with the CFD simulation of the space online which presents a new application approach of CFD simulation for testing and developing control and optimal control strategy before a system is constructed practically. The use of the virtual sensor can effectively compensate the effect of non-uniform stratification on the temperature control and improve system control reliability in a mechanical ventilated room.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1447
Number of pages7
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Online control test
  • System simulation
  • Temperature stratification
  • Ventilation control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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