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Developing a whole building cooling energy forecasting model for on-line operation optimization using proactive system identification


  • Li, Xiwang
  • Wen, Jin
  • Bai, Er-Wei


Optimal automatic operation of buildings and their subsystems in responding to signals from a smart grid is essential to reduce energy demand, and to improve the power resilience. In order to achieve such automatic operation, high fidelity and computationally efficiency whole building energy forecasting models are needed. Currently, data-driven (black box) models and hybrid (grey box) models are commonly used in model based building control. However, typical black box models often require long training period and are bounded to building operation conditions during the training period. On the other hand, creating a grey box model often requires (a) long calculation time due to parameter optimization process; and (b) expert knowledge during the model development process. This paper attempts to quantitatively evaluate the impacts of two significant system characteristics: system nonlinearity and response time, on the accuracy of the model developed by a system identification process. A general methodology for building energy forecasting model development is then developed. How to adapt the system identification process based on these two characteristics is also studied. A set of comparison criteria are then proposed to evaluate the energy forecasting models generated from the adapted system identification process against other methods reported in the literature, including Resistance and Capacitance method, Support Vector Regression method, Artificial Neural Networks method, and N4SID subspace algorithm. Two commercial buildings: a small and a medium commercial building, with varying chiller nonlinearity, are simulated using EnergyPlus in lieu of real buildings for model development and evaluation. The results from this study show that the adapted system identification process is capable of significantly improve the performance of the energy forecasting model, which is more accurate and more extendable under both of the noise-free and noisy conditions than those models generated by other methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Xiwang & Wen, Jin & Bai, Er-Wei, 2016. "Developing a whole building cooling energy forecasting model for on-line operation optimization using proactive system identification," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 69-88.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:164:y:2016:i:c:p:69-88
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.12.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Li, Xiwang & Malkawi, Ali, 2016. "Multi-objective optimization for thermal mass model predictive control in small and medium size commercial buildings under summer weather conditions," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1194-1206.
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    8. Palacios-Garcia, E.J. & Moreno-Munoz, A. & Santiago, I. & Flores-Arias, J.M. & Bellido-Outeirino, F.J. & Moreno-Garcia, I.M., 2018. "A stochastic modelling and simulation approach to heating and cooling electricity consumption in the residential sector," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 1080-1091.
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    14. Tong, Zheming & Chen, Yujiao & Malkawi, Ali, 2017. "Estimating natural ventilation potential for high-rise buildings considering boundary layer meteorology," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 276-286.
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    16. Pop, Octavian G. & Fechete Tutunaru, Lucian & Bode, Florin & Abrudan, Ancuţa C. & Balan, Mugur C., 2018. "Energy efficiency of PCM integrated in fresh air cooling systems in different climatic conditions," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 212(C), pages 976-996.
    17. Al-Sumaiti, Ameena Saad & Salama, Magdy M.A. & El-Moursi, Mohamed, 2017. "Enabling electricity access in developing countries: A probabilistic weather driven house based approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 531-548.
    18. Sossan, Fabrizio, 2017. "Equivalent electricity storage capacity of domestic thermostatically controlled loads," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 767-778.
    19. Ciulla, G. & D'Amico, A. & Lo Brano, V. & Traverso, M., 2019. "Application of optimized artificial intelligence algorithm to evaluate the heating energy demand of non-residential buildings at European level," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 380-391.
    20. Wang, Huilong & Xu, Peng & Lu, Xing & Yuan, Dengkuo, 2016. "Methodology of comprehensive building energy performance diagnosis for large commercial buildings at multiple levels," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 14-27.
    21. Jiang, Dachuan & Xiao, Weihua & Wang, Jianhua & Wang, Hao & Zhao, Yong & Li, Baoqi & Zhou, Pu, 2018. "Evaluation of the effects of one cold wave on heating energy consumption in different regions of northern China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 331-338.
    22. Li, Xiwang & Wen, Jin & Malkawi, Ali, 2016. "An operation optimization and decision framework for a building cluster with distributed energy systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 98-109.
    23. Tong, Zheming & Chen, Yujiao & Malkawi, Ali, 2016. "Defining the Influence Region in neighborhood-scale CFD simulations for natural ventilation design," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 625-633.


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