Infoscience

Thesis

Predictive Control methods for Building Control and Demand Response

This thesis studies advanced control techniques for the control of building heating and cooling systems to provide demand response services to the power network. It is divided in three parts. The first one introduces the MATLAB toolbox OpenBuild which aims at facilitating the design and validation of predictive controllers for building systems. In particular, the toolbox constructs models of building that are appropriate for use in predictive controllers, based on standard building description data files. It can also generate input data for these models that allows to test controllers in a variety of weather and usage scenarios. Finally, it offers co-simulation capability between MATLAB and EnergyPlus in order to test the controllers in a trusted simulation environment, making it a useful tool for control engineers and researchers who want to design and test building controllers in realistic simulation scenarios. In the second part, the problem of robust tracking commitment is formulated: it consists of a multi-stage robust optimization problem for systems subject to uncertainty where the set where the uncertainty lies is part of the decision variables. This problem formulation is inspired by the need to characterize how an energy system can modify its electric power consumption over time in order to procure a service to the power network, for example Demand Response or Reserve Provision. A method is proposed to solve this problem where the key idea is to modulate the uncertainty set as the image of a fixed uncertainty set by a modifier function, which allows to embed the modifier function in the controller and by doing so convert the problem into a standard robust optimization problem. The applicability of this framework is demonstrated in simulation on a problem of reserve provision by a building. We finally detail how to derive infinite horizon guarantees for the robust tracking commitment problem. The third part of thesis reports the experimental works that have been conducted on the Laboratoire d'Automatique Demand Response (LADR) platform, a living lab equipped with sensors and a controllable heating system. These experiments implement the algorithms developed in the second part of the thesis to characterize the LADR platform flexibility and demonstrate the closed-loop control of a building heating system providing secondary frequency control to the Swiss power network. In the experiments, we highlight the importance of being able to adjust the power consumption baseline around which the flexibility is offered in the intraday market and show how flexibility and comfort trade off.

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