Economical nonlinear model predictive control for building climate control

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Conference Proceeding

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In this paper, two alternatives approaches to model predictive control (MPC) are compared and contrasted for the role of zone temperature controller - the commonly used linear formulation (LMPC) and rather unconventional nonlinear formulation (NMPC). The economical focus is reflected by the performance criterion being a combination of the comfort requirements and the monetary cost penalties (price of the consumed hot water and the electricity needed to deliver the water to the building) of the controlled inputs. With this formulation, the optimal controller drives toward minimization of the real price rather than minimization of abstract quantities. It turns out that the NMPC is able to attack the cost minimization directly while retaining a compact optimization formulation as opposed to the suboptimal linear alternative. A considerable part of the superiority of the NMPC can be owed also to the use of a nonlinear model that captures the nonlinear building dynamics much more accurately than the linear models. Thanks to an enhanced search step choice introduced in this paper, the NMPC outperforms both the LMPC and the conventional controller significantly even under severe computational restrictions which demonstrates its strong practical applicability. © 2014 American Automatic Control Council.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the American Control Conference