Data-Driven Virtual Replication of Thermostatically Controlled Domestic Heating Systems
ENERGIES 2021, 14(17), 5430, September 2021
Authors: G. Mora ; J. Ciprianoa,b ; E. Gabaldona ; B. Grillonea; M. Turc; D.Chemisanab
a Building Energy and Environment Group, Centre Internacional de Mètodes Numèrics a l’Enginyeria, CIMNE, Spain
b Applied Physics Section of the Environmental Science Department, University of Lleida, Jaume II 69, 25001 Lleida, Spain
c BAXI.BDR-Thermea, Salvador Espriu, 9, 08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
Thermostatic load control systems are widespread in many countries. Since they provide heat for domestic hot water and space heating on a massive scale in the residential sector, the assessment of their energy performance and the effect of different control strategies requires simplified modeling techniques demanding a small number of inputs and low computational resources. Data-driven techniques are envisaged as one of the best options to meet these constraints.
This paper presents a novel methodology consisting of the combination of an optimization algorithm, two auto-regressive models and a control loop algorithm able to virtually replicate the control of thermostatically driven systems. This combined strategy includes all the thermostatically controlled modes governed by the set point temperature and enables automatic assessment of the energy consumption impact of multiple scenarios. The required inputs are limited to available historical readings from smart thermostats and external climate data sources. The methodology has been trained and validated with data sets coming from a selection of 11 smart thermostats, connected to gas boilers, placed in several households located in north-eastern Spain.
Important conclusions of the research are that these techniques can estimate the temperature decay of households when the space heating is off as well as the energy consumption needed to reach the comfort conditions. The results of the research also show that estimated median energy savings of 18.1% and 36.5% can be achieved if the usual set point temperature schedule is lowered by 1 °C and 2 °C, respectively.