Foto: Wohnhaus der SolarCity

ARIS - Application of non-linear control engineering and implementation of intelligent sensor systems for the improvements of energy efficiency in the building sector

The major goal of the project is the development of innovative control concepts for controlling and optimizing heating, cooling and ventilation systems (HVAC) as well as building loads. The implementation of advanced, energy efficient non-linear control techniques in building management systems is supported by new sensor technologies that are applied to building and energy systems in order to improve their energy-efficient operation.

Short Description




Starting point / motivation

Buildings and energy systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning purposes (HVAC) belong to the group one of the largest energy consumers globally. Conventional, industrially used control concepts for the HVAC and building processes are based on empirical considerations mostly. Nevertheless these conventional control methods have little and a mostly non transparent impact on the energy efficient building operation.

The control objectives are usually designed to be rigid and only aim at stabilizing the actual HVAC process taking energy efficiency into consideration only little. The physical behavior of the controlled HVAC and building processes is the key factor for reliable and energy-efficient HVAC and building operation which is addressed by conventional building control concepts in no way whatsoever.

However, advanced model-based control concepts (MBC) show remarkable advantages in this respect over conventional and usually empirical control approaches of nowadays. The dynamics of the controlled HVAC energy systems and the physics of the building is formulated on the basis of suitable, resource-efficient mathematical models and further processed for the development of innovative, advanced control algorithms in ARIS.

Contents and goals

Conventional methods for the energy management in buildings have no systematic interaction on the energy efficient and sustainable operation of the HVAC system components and buildings as loads. The development of new methods and strategies for building automation and control as well as the deployment of intelligent, interactive system monitoring of HVAC equipment, represent the main goals of research activities in this project.

The innovative control approaches are implemented and validated in selected buildings and further used to demonstrate the advantages of this new, holistic solution to systematically and sustainably achieve the desired objectives of improved energy efficiency with minimally invasive effort.

The desired system solution of ARIS is composed of existing as well as new sensor technologies (measurement of CO2 concentration for higher comfort levels for the occupants, measurement of temperatures in HVAC circuits for process control purposes, measurement of temperatures in the building zones and building spaces for optimal comfort of building users), different communication interfaces to gather sensor data and to select accordingly. Furthermore advanced model-based nonlinear control techniques are developed for the systematic and efficient energy management.


In this research project suitable mathematical models are derived, which best describe the relevant system dynamics for the purpose of control and regulation of HVAC energy systems and buildings.

In this case, the implemented (conventional) control and regulation of energy systems and building loads are superimposed with powerful, multi-objective optimization algorithm aiming the maximization of energy-efficient building operation.

The deployment of intelligent sensors is an essential part of this research project in order to make the overall scheme even more efficient.

Expected results

  • modeling of relevant HVAC process and building dynamics for control and optimization purposes
  • Dynamic models for the purpose of air quality increase for building occupants by lower-level model-based control and optimization approaches (CO2 regulation, control and optimization of the mixing gas concentration)
  • prediction of the development of air quality by advanced mathematical models
  • development and deployment of intelligent sensors for model validation and control purposes
  • development of advanced, model-based control algorithms for HVAC energy management and process optimization
  • embedding of control concepts in selected building automation systems

Project Partners

Project Management

Tarik Ferhatbegovic, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH

Project or cooperation partners

Contact Address

Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Tarik Ferhatbegovic
Giefinggasse 2
A-1210 Wien
Tel.: +43 50550 6074

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