Probabilistic approach for uncertainty-based optimal design of chiller plants in buildings

Qi Cheng, Shengwei Wang, Chengchu Yan, Fu Xiao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


This results in that even a perfectly designed chiller plant could be very significantly oversized in actual operation and it thus causes significant energy wastes. In this paper, an uncertainty-based optimal design based on probabilistic approach is proposed to optimize the chiller plant design. It ensures that the chiller plant operate at a high efficiency and the minimum annual total cost (including annual operational cost and annual capital cost) could be achieved under various possible cooling load conditions, considering the uncertain variables in cooling load calculation (i.e., weather conditions). On the premise of determining the minimum sufficient number of Monte Carlo simulation, this method maximizes the operating COP (coefficient of performance) and minimizing the annual total cost. A case study on the chiller plant of a building in Hong Kong is conducted to demonstrate the design process and validate the uncertainty-based optimal design method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1613-1624
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Chiller plant
  • Energy efficiency
  • Probabilistic approach
  • Simulation number
  • Uncertainty-based optimal design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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