Occupant-oriented mixed-mode EnergyPlus predictive control simulation

Model predictive control (MPC) has been studied in the building science realm for about three decades. However, the following two aspects of the building control have not been studied thoroughly in MPC research. One is the impact of the mixed-mode cooling system on the active heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) energy consumption, and the other is the differences of individual thermal comfort preference and its impact on energy. This paper proposes an occupant-oriented mixed-mode EnergyPlus predictive control system to optimize HVAC energy consumption while meeting the individual thermal comfort preference. A web-based dashboard is implemented in the test-bed building for three months to collect individual thermal comfort preference data. The data analysis results suggest that occupants have various tolerances and preferences about thermal comfort. The simulation results show that, during one week of a typical swing season, the mixed-mode system further reduces the active HVAC energy consumption, and the diversified occupant thermal comfort preference has significant impact on HVAC energy consumption.