Distributed predictive optimization of a building HVAC system Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2015 ASHRAE. The use of advanced control strategies can result in the reduction of energy consumption in buildings, but a single centralized controller is often impractical. A distributed control approach that combines the ease and modularity of local control with the system-wide benefits of centralized control has significant potential for positive impact. Earlier research efforts resulted in the development of a distributed optimization technique referred to as "neighbor-communication optimization" (NC-OPT). In this paper, the algorithm is applied to a multizone building air-conditioning system. A design for the control architecture is developed wherein each zone is treated as a separate subsystem, as are the variable-air-volume system and the water chiller. This design is applied to a building modeled and simulated using EnergyPlus software. The NC-OPT approach is shown to successfully modulate the system setpoints to balance energy efficiency with occupant comfort, including calculating new setpoints for chilled-water temperature reset. This modulation is achieved without a centralized controller for the systems and with communication only between neighboring subsystems. Discussion of the results and plans for future work are provided.

published proceedings

  • ASHRAE Conference-Papers

author list (cited authors)

  • Elliott, M., & Rasmussen, B.

complete list of authors

  • Elliott, M||Rasmussen, B

publication date

  • January 2015