VisErgyControl - Integral control system for daylight and artificial lighting for high visual and melanopic comfort with minimized primary energy consumption

Within the project VisErgyControl an integral, simulation-based, energy-efficient open loop daylight and artificial lighting control system will be developed. The research project focuses on the visual and melanopic requirements of users while minimizing the energy consumption for heating and cooling.

Short Description

Starting point/Motivation

Austria's cities are still growing. The building stock in the city of the future will be improved in terms of the energy efficiency of building envelopes as well as in space efficiency in the context of sustainable redevelopment.

Moreover densification means lower daylight autonomy in the lower floors of the buildings. The level of artificial light consumption is high and consequently, despite the rapid growth in the efficiency of artificial light sources, power consumption for lighting will increase. Moreover the low daylight autonomy has a physiologically negative impact on the users.

Contents and goals

These problems are intended to be solved within the project VisErgyControl by the development of an intelligent control system for shading- and daylight-redirection in combination with artificial light. This way, visual comfort is optimized with minimal primary energy use for artificial lighting and air conditioning (heating and cooling). At the same time, the light should be controlled and adapted to the melanopic needs of the users.


The open loop control methodology of the project VisErgyControl contrasts to a closed loop control, which represents the standard control strategy at the moment. The optimal blind position for the shading and daylight redirection system as well as the dimming values for the artificial light groups for each time of day, depending on the given outdoor climate

  • solar radiation,
  • illuminance levels on the respective facades and
  • ambient temperature

will be determined by simulation, taking into account the climatic situation in the building and the physiological impact of the expected lighting scenery on humans. Individual room sensors are used for error correction and success control only. These methods, developed on a theoretical basis in the preliminary projects K- Light (P01) and lightSIMheat, will be implemented in this project gradually. The expense for the parameterization, commissioning and maintenance will be limited to a minimum by an easy-to -use tool.

Afterward the test will be performed in real offices in an example building and verified by an evaluation of the results obtained. Finally the results will be compared to the measured data from the BIGMODERN subproject 9 (University of Innsbruck), which is controlled by indoor- sensors (state of the art).

Expected Results

Establishing an integral, simulation-based, energy-efficient open loop daylight and artificial lighting control

One of the main results of this project will be to define a lighting control module for optimal melanopic effect. In addition, a coupled simulation routine will be implemented which ensures visual and thermal comfort at low primary energy use for heating, cooling and artificial lighting.

Easy commissioning, configuration and maintenance

  • Automated acquisition of 3D geometry data as shading objects (neighboring buildings, skyline, trees, etc.) for the parameterization of the control system
  • Sensors for collecting the necessary external conditions (weather, light technical parameters), which can be provided as a central service in the information network of the "smart city" for all buildings within the area available in the future.
  • Simplified tool for parameterization of the rooms and the shading or daylight component.
  • Automatic fall-back scenario with significant deviation from the actual values ​​in comparison to the expected values ​​with instructions for maintenance.
  • "Easy to use"- user interface
  • Development of the necessary planning know-how

Project Partners

Project management

Assoz. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Pfluger - Arbeitsbereich Energieeffizientes Bauen, Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Konstruktion und Materialwissenschaften

Project partners

  • Bartenbach GmbH
  • HELLA Automation GmbH

Contact Address

Universität Innsbruck - Institut für Konstruktion und Materialwissenschaften
Arbeitsbereich Energieeffizientes Bauen
Technikerstr. 13
A-6020 Innsbruck
Tel.: +43 (512) 507-63601 oder +43 (512) 507-63651
Fax: +43 (512) 507-63699