Impacts of uncertain information delays on distributed real-time optimal controls for building HVAC systems deployed on IoT-enabled field control networks

Bing Su, Shengwei Wang, Wenzhuo Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Distributed optimal control deployed on field control networks is receiving increasing attention with the rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT), including its applications in HVAC systems. Information delays refer to the time delays in information exchange between devices integrated in communication networks. They could affect the performance of distributed optimal control, but are rarely concerned in HVAC field. This study investigates and quantifies the impacts of information delays on the performance of distributed optimal control strategies for HVAC systems through theoretical analysis and case studies, including a typical central cooling plant and a typical multi-zone air-conditioning system. The uncertain information delays are modeled by a Markov chain according to the characteristics of networks. Their impacts are quantified by comparing the performance of the distributed optimal control strategies involving the information delays with ideal performance. Results show that information delays significantly affected the convergence rate and control accuracy of the distributed optimal control strategies. These delays can result in a difference in optimized cooling tower outlet water temperature of up to 0.6 K and a number of iterations of up to180 (about nine times than in ideal conditions). Test results indicate the necessity of considering the impacts of information delays when developing distributed optimal control strategies for HVAC systems. This necessity exists for both future IoT-enabled and current LAN-based field control networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117383
JournalApplied Energy
Volume300
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Air-conditioning system
  • Distributed optimal control
  • Information delays
  • IoT-enabled network
  • Networked control
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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