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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2976731, 15 pages
Research Article

Simplified Building Thermal Model Used for Optimal Control of Radiant Cooling System

School of Mechanical Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu 610031, China

Received 10 November 2015; Accepted 26 January 2016

Academic Editor: Hiroyuki Mino

Copyright © 2016 Lei He et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


MPC has the ability to optimize the system operation parameters for energy conservation. Recently, it has been used in HVAC systems for saving energy, but there are very few applications in radiant cooling systems. To implement MPC in buildings with radiant terminals, the predictions of cooling load and thermal environment are indispensable. In this paper, a simplified thermal model is proposed for predicting cooling load and thermal environment in buildings with radiant floor. In this thermal model, the black-box model is introduced to derive the incident solar radiation, while the genetic algorithm is utilized to identify the parameters of the thermal model. In order to further validate this simplified thermal model, simulated results from TRNSYS are compared with those from this model and the deviation is evaluated based on coefficient of variation of root mean square (CV). The results show that the simplified model can predict the operative temperature with a CV lower than 1% and predict cooling loads with a CV lower than 10%. For the purpose of supervisory control in HVAC systems, this simplified RC thermal model has an acceptable accuracy and can be used for further MPC in buildings with radiation terminals.