Loughborough University
Thesis-2001-Buswell.pdf (12.37 MB)

Uncertainty in the first principle model-based condition monitoring of HVAC systems

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posted on 2010-12-07, 11:13 authored by Richard A. Buswell
Model based techniques for automated condition monitoring of HVAC systems have been under development for some years. Results from the application of these methods to systems installed in real buildings have highlighted robustness and sensitivity issues. The generation of false alarms has been identified as a principal factor affecting the potential usefulness of condition monitoring in HVAC applications. The robustness issue is a direct result of the uncertain measurements and the lack of experimental control that axe characteristic of HVAC systems. This thesis investigates the uncertainties associated with implementing a condition monitoring scheme based on simple first principles models in HVAC subsystems installed in real buildings. The uncertainties present in typical HVAC control system measurements are evaluated. A sensor validation methodology is developed and applied to a cooling coil subsystem installed in a real building. The uncertainty in steady-state analysis based on transient data is investigated. The uncertainties in the simplifications and assumptions associated with the derivation of simple first principles based models of heat-exchangers are established. A subsystem model is developed and calibrated to the test system. The relationship between the uncertainties in the calibration data and the parameter estimates are investigated. The uncertainties from all sources are evaluated and used to generate a robust indication of the subsystem condition. The sensitivity and robustness of the scheme is analysed based on faults implemented in the test system during summer, winter and spring conditions.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Richard Andrew Buswell

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en