This paper describes a Control Description Language (CDL) that we developed to create such a process. For CDL, we selected a subset of Modelica that allows a convenient representation of control sequences, simulation of the control sequence coupled to a building energy model, and development of translators from CDL to building automation systems. To aid in the development of such translators, we created a translator from CDL to a JSON intermediate format. In future work, we seek to work with building control providers to develop translators from CDL to commercial building automation systems.
Through a case study, we show that CDL suffices for simulation-based performance assessment of two ASHRAE-published control sequences for a variable air volume flow system of an office building. Moreover, the case study showed that merely due to differences in the control sequences, annual HVAC energy use was reduced by 30%. This difference is larger than the accuracy required when comparing different HVAC systems, thereby questioning the current practice of idealizing control sequences in building energy simulations, and demonstrating the importance of ensuring that the control sequence used during design simulations corresponds to the control sequence that will be implemented in the real building.
Keywords: controls, buildings, HVAC
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