PhD Defence by Joakim Børlum Petersen


08.03.2021 kl. 14.00 - 17.00


Energy-efficient control of shopping center HVAC

We spend 40% of all energy globally on building. Roughly, half of this stems from Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC). As numerous studies have previously shown, the potential for energy savings within buildings control is big -- especially considering older building stock. This thesis specifically considers shopping centers (malls) because; (1) inherently large buildings with a large energy consumption and an equally large potential for energy savings, (2) the physical parameters change over time with a relatively high rate with new shops opening up and old shops closing down and (3) excessive cooling needs, even in colder climate, much of it attributed to display lighting.

The majority of energy efficient building control literature revolves around the use of Model Predictive Control. In spite of many promising simulation and experimental results, Model Predictive Control has still not been widely adopted by the buildings control industry – mainly attributed to the added engineering effort and required qualifications, which partly stems from the requirement of an accurate model. The requirement of an accurate model is especially problematic for the existing building stock, where the majority of buildings are old, as Building Information Models are often not available or they have been rendered obsolete through retrofitting.

This thesis embraces Model Predictive Control in the pursuit of a method, which trades performance for deploy-ability. Through the design and simulation studies of Model Predictive Control a low-complexity hierarchical control approach is formulated. This method is evaluated on a Danish mall in an experimental study with promising results. The hierarchical control is formulated to be general enough to encompass the HVAC architecture of different malls.

Assessment Committee
Associate professor Tom Søndergaard, Aalborg University, Denmark (chairman)
Professor Roy S. Smith, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
Sr. Staff Controls Engineer Siddharth Goyal, LG Electronics, USA

Professor Jakob Stoustrup, Aalborg University, Denmark
Associate Professor Jan Dimon Bendtsen, Aalborg University, Denmark

Associate Professor Kirsten M. Nielsen, Aalborg University, Denmark


Free of charge


Automation and Control Section, Department of Electronic Systems


Online via Microsoft Teams - (link will be sent to registered participants prior to the defence)

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05.03.2021 kl. 12.00

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