ProKlim+ - Use of Model Predictive Control to optimize solar power consumption in case of increased energy efficiency.

Using weather forecast for building automation can help improving the energy efficiency of buildings and, thus, saving energy. In the project ProKlim+ the forecast of solar radiation will be used to optimize the building automation to satisfy the needs of the building users, and at the same time to minimize the energy demand on the one hand and to maximize the consumption of self-produced energy on the other hand.

Short Description




Starting point / motivation

Using current weather information to control heating and air conditioning in buildings has become standard procedure in building automation. However, only few facilities also use weather forecasts for controlling the indoor climate, even though this can help to optimise the energy efficiency of existing systems and consequently to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions relatively easily and inexpensively. In recent years only few theoretical and demonstration projects evaluated the innovative approach of weather prediction based building control. Considering different types of target objects, such as residential and non-residential buildings with different constructional and systemic standards, these studies estimate an energy saving potential from 3 % up to 41 %.

Current studies focus only on improving the energy efficiency of building automation systems concerning energy consumption without considering the possibility of internal energy production by integrated photovoltaic, solar heat and wind power systems. Although including internal energy production into an analysis might offer an easy approach to save energy while at the same time providing a high standard of comfort for its users.

Contents and goals

ProKlim+ aims at implementing a predictive control system into the building automation system of the ENERGYbase while conserving the comfort parameters. In order to achieve a higher efficiency of the heating system and an optimal usage of self-produced power supplies, it is planned to incorporate the solar heating of the building as well as its photovoltaic system into the control system. The ultimate goal of the project is to find a solution for improving the building automation control with respect to the heating systems, the electricity rates, the runtime of renewable energy production systems, the available solar radiation and the power grids. The different scenarios shall be modelled and tested in different simulations.

Methods of treatment

Based on the building models developed for the ENERGYbase, we intend to estimate the day-ahead demand of energy for different heating scenarios. In a processed form this data will be further analyzed by the simulation software Dymola which uses the language standard Modelica to model the technical systems of the building. The model simulation will include in particular the heating and cooling supplies as well as the distribution, photovoltaic and solar heating systems. Taking into account the predicted outdoor air temperature and solar radiation, the building automation shall be optimized in an iterative process such that the needs of the building users are satisfied. In order to achieve this we intend to couple the Dymola simulations with the generic process optimization tool GenOpt. Using these assumptions it will be possible to implement different optimization goals.

Expected results / conclusions

ProKlim+ will help developing a strategic policy for finding an efficient energy saving concept for building automation. The energy savings achieved in this way might allow us to further reduce the CO2-emissions in the sense of sustainable management of resources.

This is of particular importance with respect to climate protection but exhibits also economic aspects. In case of not achieving the Kyoto goals, Austria has to buy CO2-certifcates in the range of several million Euros. In order to avoid this, an increased energy efficiency of building heating systems might make a major contribution. 

Project Partners

Project management

Dr. Fernando Carreras

Project or cooperation partners

  • Austrian Institute of Technology, Österreichisches Forschungs- und Prüfzentrum Arsenal Ges.m.b.H, Nachhaltige Gebäudetechnologien
  • Technikum Wien GmbH

Contact Address

Dr. Fernando Carreras
Dresdner Straße 82, 1200 Wien
Tel: +43 (1) 9971004-29
Fax: +43 (1) 9971004-20