Bridging the gap between the linear and nonlinear predictive control: Adaptations for efficient building climate control

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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd The linear model predictive control which is frequently used for building climate control benefits from the fact that the resulting optimization task is convex (thus easily and quickly solvable). On the other hand, the nonlinear model predictive control enables the use of a more detailed nonlinear model and it takes advantage of the fact that it addresses the optimization task more directly, however, it requires a more computationally complex algorithm for solving the non-convex optimization problem. In this paper, the gap between the linear and the nonlinear one is bridged by introducing a predictive controller with linear time-dependent model. Making use of linear time-dependent model of the building, the newly proposed controller obtains predictions which are closer to reality than those of linear time invariant model, however, the computational complexity is still kept low since the optimization task remains convex. The concept of linear time-dependent predictive controller is verified on a set of numerical experiments performed using a high fidelity model created in a building simulation environment and compared to the previously mentioned alternatives. Furthermore, the model for the nonlinear variant is identified using an adaptation of the existing model predictive control relevant identification method and the optimization algorithm for the nonlinear predictive controller is adapted such that it can handle also restrictions on discrete-valued nature of the manipulated variables. The presented comparisons show that the current adaptations lead to more efficient building climate control.

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Control Engineering Practice