A model-based optimal ventilation control strategy of multi-zone VAV air-conditioning systems

Xinhua Xu, Shengwei Wang, Zhongwei Sun, Fu Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a model-based optimal ventilation control strategy for multi-zone VAV air-conditioning systems aiming at optimizing the total fresh air flow rate by compromising the thermal comfort, indoor air quality and total energy consumption. In this strategy, one scheme is used to correct the total fresh air flow rate dynamically by utilizing the unvitiated fresh air from the over-ventilation zones based on the detected occupancy of each zone and the related measurements. At the meantime, another scheme is developed to optimize the temperature set point for the temperature control of critical zones with the aim at reducing the variation of the required fresh air fractions among all the zones and further reducing the total fresh air intake from outdoors for energy saving when the first scheme is implemented. This scheme is based on a constructed cost function relating thermal comfort, indoor air quality and total energy consumption together while the cost function is calculated based on the prediction of system responses using dynamic simplified models. Genetic algorithm is used for optimizing the temperature set point of critical zones in the optimization process. This strategy was evaluated in a simulated building and air-conditioning environment under various weather conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-104
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Critical zone ventilation
  • Demand-controlled ventilation
  • Model-based control
  • Multi-zone ventilation
  • Optimal temperature reset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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