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Title: Synthesis of optimum HVAC system configurations by evolutionary algorithm
Author: Zhang, Yi
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2005
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The HVAC system configuration is a conceptual design of the HVAC system, including the employed components, the topology of the airflow network, and the control strategy with set points. Selection of HVAC system configuration is normally done in the early stage of the design process. The configuration design, however, has significant impacts on the performance of the final system. This thesis describes the development of the design synthesis of optimal HVAC system configurations by Evolutionary Algorithm. In this research, the HVAC system configuration design synthesis has been formulated as an optimisation problem, in which, the component set of the configuration, the topology of the airflow network, and the control set points for the assumed supervisory control strategy, are the optimisation variables. Psychrometrics-based configuration model has been developed in order to evaluate the optimisation objective of minimising the annual energy consumption of the HVAC system. The optimisation is also subjected to a number of design constraints, including the connectivity of the topology, the performance limitations of the components, and the design requirements for the air-conditioned zones. The configuration synthesis problem is a multi-level optimisation problem. The topology depends on the set of selected components, whereas the search space of the control set points changes with the different components and topology. On the other hand, the performance of the configuration is assessed with its optimum operation; therefore the control set points have to be optimised for each configuration solution, before the optimum configuration can be identified. In this research, a simultaneous evolutionary approach has been developed. All optimisation variables of the configuration have been enwded into an integrated genotypic data structure. Evolutionary operators have also been developed to search the topological space (for the optimum topology) and parametric space (for the optimal control set points) at the same time. The performance of the developed approach has been validated with example optimisation problems. It is concluded that the implemented evolutionary algorithm has been able to find (near) optimum solutions for various design problems, though multiple trials may be required. The limitations of this approach and the direction of future development have been discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HVAC system configuration ; Design synthesis ; Optimisation ; Evolutionary Algorithms ; Problem-specific operator ; Ageing operator