Online fault detection and robust control of condenser cooling water systems in building central chiller plants

Zhenjun Ma, Shengwei Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a robust strategy for online fault detection and optimal control of condenser cooling water systems. The optimal control strategy is formulated using a model-based approach, in which simplified models and a hybrid quick search (HQS) method are used to optimize the performance of the overall system by changing the settings of the local process controllers. A system level online fault detection scheme is embedded into the control system and used to monitor whether the system operates in a healthy condition. The faults considered are mainly the component performance degradations. When a fault is detected, the control system will be reconstructed to regain the control through using robust schemes. The performance of the proposed strategy is tested and evaluated against on a simulated virtual system representing the actual condenser cooling water system in a super high-rise building. The results show that the fault detection scheme is effective in identifying system performance degradations and the fault-tolerant control strategy with online fault detection and optimal control can enhance the overall system performance significantly when the operation of condenser cooling water systems suffers from performance degradations, as compared to that using optimal control only.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-165
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Energy efficiency
  • Fault detection
  • Fault-tolerant control
  • Optimal control
  • Performance degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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