Occupant-Integrated Model Predictive Control of Building HVAC Systems

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 12:00pm
3110 Etcheverry Hall
Dr. David Blum

Postdoctoral Fellow

Building Technology and Urban Systems Division, LBNL


ME + LBNL Seminar Series


In the last decade, needs for building heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) control systems that reduce cost, energy, or peak demand, and that facilitate building-grid integration, district-energy system optimization, and occupant interaction have come about. Current PID and schedule-based control systems are not capable of fulfilling these needs because they do not consider all of the necessary information to make proper decisions, nor can they provide meaningful interactions with occupants. Model Predictive Control (MPC) is a control technique that utilizes building models and environmental forecasts to predict performance and optimize control inputs in real-time. Such a technique allows for consideration of past performance and future incentives to drive a system towards an objective. However, while MPC has been adopted by other industries and has shown promising performance in research for buildings, the building industry has not adopted this technology. This presentation will describe the advantages of MPC for building HVAC applications, discuss challenges that must be overcome for its adoption, and overview LBNL development of an open-source software platform for MPC in buildings that looks to address these challenges.



Dr. David Blum is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division. His research focuses on the development and implementation of next-generation computational tools for buildings operating in isolation or within broader energy networks. The majority of this work is applied to model predictive control (MPC), where a model of building performance can be used to optimize its energy consumption, occupant service, and energy network interactions. David received his B.A.E degree from the Department of Architectural Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University in 2011 and his M.S. and PhD degrees in Building Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013 and 2016 respectively. At MIT, his research focused on improving the use of commercial building HVAC systems to provide ancillary services to electric grids through dynamic modeling and MPC. He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).


Hosted by: Associate Professor Shawn Shadden, 5126 Etcheverry Hall, 510- 664-9800, shadden@berkeley.edu