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Effective Tuning of Cascaded Control Loops for Nonlinear HVAC Systems

[+] Author Affiliations
Christopher R. Price, Bryan P. Rasmussen

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Paper No. DSCC2015-9806, pp. V002T29A002; 10 pages
  • ASME 2015 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 2: Diagnostics and Detection; Drilling; Dynamics and Control of Wind Energy Systems; Energy Harvesting; Estimation and Identification; Flexible and Smart Structure Control; Fuels Cells/Energy Storage; Human Robot Interaction; HVAC Building Energy Management; Industrial Applications; Intelligent Transportation Systems; Manufacturing; Mechatronics; Modelling and Validation; Motion and Vibration Control Applications
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA, October 28–30, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5725-0
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Residential and commercial buildings are large consumers of energy in the United States with Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems representing a significant portion of total use. These systems control aspects such as humidity and room air temperature to ensure building occupant comfort. Control of HVAC units presents unique challenges due to large nonlinearities heavily dependent on operating conditions. Static linear controllers are unable to counteract such nonlinearities resulting in sustained oscillations known as hunting behavior. Previous research has shown the ability of cascaded architectures to compensate for HVAC nonlinearities and improve overall system performance without the need for detailed dynamic models. To aid the implementation of cascaded loops on real building systems, analysis of the effects of inner loop gain are presented and three outer loop tuning cases are identified. A simulation case study of an air handling unit demonstrates the simplicity of the procedure and compares it with optimally tuned gains.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: HVAC equipment



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