Technical Brief

Cost-Optimal Coordination of Interacting HVAC Loads in Buildings

[+] Author and Article Information
Saeid Bashash

Assistant Professor, ASME Member, Department of Mechanical Engineering, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0087

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038390 History: Received March 29, 2016; Revised October 31, 2017


This paper investigates the optimal coordination of multiple interacting HVAC appliances in buildings such as air conditioners and refrigerators, in time-varying electricity pricing environments. Each load is modeled as a first order differential equation with a binary (ON-OFF) switching control function. An energy cost minimization problem is then formulated with weighted penalties on the temperature deviation from the desired setpoint and the control input fluctuation. Using the dynamic programming method, the cost-optimal trajectories are computed, indicating pre-cooling of the loads in anticipation of the electricity price peak period. Moreover, the loads are desynchronized in the presence of local renewable generation to maximize the on-site consumption of the local energy. The presented results provide useful insights for the development of predictive and rule-based control policies for optimal energy management in buildings.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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