System optimization for HVAC energy management using the robust evolutionary algorithm

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2327-2334
Journal / PublicationApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


For an installed centralized heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system, appropriate energy management measures would achieve energy conservation targets through the optimal control and operation. The performance optimization of conventional HVAC systems may be handled by operation experience, but it may not cover different optimization scenarios and parameters in response to a variety of load and weather conditions. In this regard, it is common to apply the suitable simulation-optimization technique to model the system then determine the required operation parameters. The particular plant simulation models can be built up by either using the available simulation programs or a system of mathematical expressions. To handle the simulation models, iterations would be involved in the numerical solution methods. Since the gradient information is not easily available due to the complex nature of equations, the traditional gradient-based optimization methods are not applicable for this kind of system models. For the heuristic optimization methods, the continual search is commonly necessary, and the system function call is required for each search. The frequency of simulation function calls would then be a time-determining step, and an efficient optimization method is crucial, in order to find the solution through a number of function calls in a reasonable computational period. In this paper, the robust evolutionary algorithm (REA) is presented to tackle this nature of the HVAC simulation models. REA is based on one of the paradigms of evolutionary algorithm, evolution strategy, which is a stochastic population-based searching technique emphasized on mutation. The REA, which incorporates the Cauchy deterministic mutation, tournament selection and arithmetic recombination, would provide a synergetic effect for optimal search. The REA is effective to cope with the complex simulation models, as well as those represented by explicit mathematical expressions of HVAC engineering optimization problems. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Evolution strategy, Evolutionary algorithm, HVAC, Optimization, Plant simulation