Energy efficiency and comfort control in buildings

The increasing concern about climate change is leading to the appearance of regulations which intend to reduce both energy consumption and greenhouse gasses emissions.

Energy consumption of residential and non-residential buildings stands for the half of the worldwide energy consumption and they are also responsible for 35% of carbon dioxide emissions. Besides, as human beings develop their quotidian activities inside buildings, greenhouse effect reduction and energy efficiency techniques cannot put users’ wellbeing into danger, since their productivity is directly related to their comfort. Hence, it is required to find a trade-off among users’ comfort, carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption.

To achieve this goal several perspectives can be adopted, as the construction of bioclimatic buildings which makes use of renewable energies, the refurbishment of old building considering some energy efficiency and comfort criteria, etc. Nevertheless, in some cases, the previously mentioned strategies may be insufficient. In these cases, it is necessary to develop specific control actions on Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems and other building’s actuators, oriented to provide comfortable environments from thermal, visual and indoor air quality points of view, and with the minimum energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

Within this research line, several works have been developed and implemented inside the CIESOL bioclimatic building. For instance, the application of different modelling techniques to capture the dynamic of the main indoor environmental and energy consumption variables; the development of different model predictive control-based approaches to maintain users’ comfort and, simultaneously, to reduce energy consumption; the implementation of some energy management strategies which  allows to handle, in an efficient way, the operation of a solar cooling installation and the integration of renewable energy sources such as a photovoltaic plant.

Related research projects

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