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2011 21st International Conference on Systems Engineering

Modelling of an air handling unit: a Hammerstein-bilinear model identification approach

I. Zajic, T. Larkowski, M. Sumislawska, K. J. Burnham Control Theory and Applications Centre Coventry University Coventry, UK Email: zajici@uni.coventry.ac.uk

D. Hill Abbott Diabetes Care Ltd Witney, Oxfordshire, UK Email: dean.hill@abbott.com

Abstract—The paper focuses on modelling and system iden- tification of an air handling unit (AHU), which is part of larger heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system dedicated for clean room manufacturing. The aim is to use the model for subsequent control optimisation and further for control system design. The underlying physical relations of an AHU are investigated through a white-box model. Based on the white-box model considerations a discrete-time bilinear black-box model is proposed. The AHU cooling/heating capacity is altered by means of water valves. The valve introduces a Hammerstein nonlinearity on the system input, which needs to be additionally identified together with the dynamic bilinear model representing the heating/cooling coil of the AHU. The discrete-time model coefficients are then estimated based on real measurements.

Keywords-air handling unit; bilinear model; Hammerstein model; HVAC; system identification

  • I. I NTRODUCTION

Abbott Diabetes Care (ADC) UK, an industrial collaborator of the Control Theory and Applications Centre, develops and manufactures the blood glucose and ketones test strips, which are designed to assist persons with diabetes, see [1]. One of the manufacturing requirements is that the environ- mental conditions during production are highly stable and within defined limits. To achieve this goal ADC UK utilises heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for all clean room production. Investigations have revealed that the performance of the HVAC systems, which make use of standard proportional-integral and proportional-integral- derivative (PI/PID) controllers, can be significantly improved. Consequently, this paper reports on research which focuses on increasing the energy efficiency of the HVAC systems through the analysis and optimisation of control systems with a view to subsequent implementation. The present paper is concerned with the modelling of an air handling unit (AHU), being part of the investigated HVAC system based in ADC UK, which is described in more detail in [2]. The aim is to use the identified model of the AHU for analysis of the temperature control loop. This facilitates the use of off-line control optimisation procedures as well as the testing of the proposed control strategies in simulation without disrupting the manufacturing process. The underlying physical relations and deep understanding of the investigated system at hand, play an important part

in the identification of such a real-world system. Therefore, a simplified first principles model of an AHU is used as a surrogate for the actual AHU located in ADC UK. Subse- quently, the underlying dynamic relations between the system inputs and outputs are investigated via computer simulation and the discrete-time structured nonlinear model is identified. The potential shortfall of using first principles models is the need for knowledge concerning the model coefficients, which are not commonly available in practice. However, it can be assumed that these are at least partially known. In this regard, the parameters of an identified discrete-time model are re- estimated based on measurements from the plant. In this way any un-modelled AHU behaviour, which is not accommodated in the first principles model, is then reflected within the reduced order discrete-time structured nonlinear model utilised

for control analysis.

II. A IR HANDLING UNIT: FIRST PRINCIPLES MODEL

The investigated AHU unit comprises of heating and cooling coil units. Only the cooling coil unit (CCU) is considered in this paper, and this is depicted in Figure 1. A lumped parameter approach is adopted. The CCU is assumed to behave as a perfectly mixed vessel, therefore the outflow water temperature is the same as the mean temperature of the water content of the coil. The energy balance on the water side of the coil, is given by [3]

  • C dT wo (t)

dt

=m w (t)c w [T wi (t) T wo (t)] UA [T wo (t) T ao (t)] ,

(1)

where C [J/K ] is the overall thermal capacity (sum of water and metal body thermal capacities), T wo [K ] outflow water temperature, m w [kg/s] water mass-flow rate, c w [J/kgK ] specific water thermal capacity, T wi [K ] inflow water temper- ature, U [J/m 2 K ] overall heat transfer coefficient, A [m 2 ] effective surface of the coil, T ao [K ] discharge (outflow) air temperature and t denotes time in [s]. The energy balance on the air side of the coil can be expressed as

C

a

dT ao (t)

dt

=UA [T wo (t) T ao (t)] m a (t)c a [T ao (t) T ai (t)] .

(2)

978-0-7695-4495-3/11 $26.00 © 2011 IEEE DOI 10.1109/ICSEng.2011.19

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2011 21st International Conference on Systems Engineering Modelling of an air handling unit: a Hammerstein-bilinear model
2011 21st International Conference on Systems Engineering Modelling of an air handling unit: a Hammerstein-bilinear model
2011 21st International Conference on Systems Engineering Modelling of an air handling unit: a Hammerstein-bilinear model

y [ C]

u []

T ai [ C]

T wo T wi , m w u T ai , m a T ao Fig.
T wo
T wi , m w
u
T ai , m a
T ao
Fig. 1.
Schematic diagram of the cooling coil unit.

Here, C a [J/K ] is the air thermal capacity, m a [kg/s] is the processed air mass-flow rate, c a [J/kgK ] is the air specific heat capacity and T ai [K ] denotes on coil (inflow) air temperature. In order to further simplify the modelling task, it is assumed that instantaneous heat exchange between the air and cooling coil occurs, hence the temperature derivative on the left hand side of (2) becomes null. The valve installed on the plant has linear characteristics in the range of 0, 30 % and equal percentage in the range of 30, 100 % of the stem position. However, to simplify the valve model, only a valve having linear characteristics is assumed. The valve characteristic is defined as [4]

u˜(t) =

u(t)

u 2 (t) (1 N v ) + N v

.

(3)

The fractional valve stem position, i.e. the control input, is denoted u = 0, 1 and the ‘effectively’ applied fractional valve stem position is then u˜ = 0, 1 given by (3). This static nonlinearity is caused by the water pressures that are developed around the installed valve in the pipe network and is characterised by the so-called valve authority N v = 0, 1 []. Subsequently, the chilled water mass-flow rate is given by m w = um˜ w,max , where m w,max [kg/s] is the maximum water mass-flow rate available when the valve is fully opened, i.e. u = 1.

A. Model discretisation

The next step in the development of the reduced order discrete-time model of the CCU is to, either, simulate the continuous-time system governed by (1), (2) and (3), and then attempt to obtain such a model by means of system identification, or to directly discretise the continuous-time system. The latter option is preferred here, since the governing equations of the CCU are relatively simple. The backward Eu- ler discretisation method is used to approximate the derivative term in (1), i.e. dT wo (t)/dt (T wo (k ) T wo (k 1)) /T s , where T s [s] denotes the sampling time interval and k is the discrete-time index. The selected inputs to the system are u˜ and T ai , and the system output is selected as temperature difference between the on-coil and discharge air temperature, i.e. y = T ao T ai . The discretised model of the CCU can be

True and discretised output 0 −10 −20 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 Valve stem position
True and discretised output
0
−10
−20
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
Valve stem position
1
0.5
0
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
On-coil air temperature
60
40
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
Time index (samples)
+ η 2 T ai (k − 1)˜u(k − 1).

Fig. 2. The top plot shows simulated continuous-time system (grey solid line) and discretised output (solid black line). The middle plot shows the fractional valve stem position, while the bottom plot presents the on-coil air temperature. The valve authority is N v = 1 and the sampling interval is T s = 1 [s].

obtained as

y (k ) = a 1 y (k 1) + b 1 u˜(k 1)

+ η 1 y (k 1)˜u(k 1) + b 2 T ai (k ) + b 3 T ai (k 1)

(4)

The constant model coefficients are denoted as a 1 , b 1,2,3 and η 1,2 . Note the first product term between the system

states y u˜. Such a product is well known to be a so-called bilinear nonlinearity and is commonly encountered in heat transfer processes, see [5]. Also note, that the valve static nonlinearity acts on the selected system input u, which may be characterised by a Hammerstein nonlinearity. Equations (1), (2) and (3), describing the CCU, i.e. a surrogate system, were implemented in Simulink software. Subsequently, the system has been simulated such that N v = 1, the simulation time is N = 5500 [s] and having the following model parameters: C = 96324, c w = 3759, T wi = 273.15 + 5, U = 187.5, A = 21.2, m a = 2.4, c a = 1005, T ai = 25, 60 + 273.15, u = 0.05, 0.8 and m w,max = 2.4. The physical units of the above parameters are defined in Section II. The simulation results are shown in Figure 2. Since the discrete-time model (4) has been obtained directly from the first principles model, the discrete-time coefficients are known and are as follows: a 1 = 0.98, b 1 = 16.39, η 1 = 0.09, b 2 = 0.62, b 3 = 0.62 and η 2 = 0.06 for a sampling interval of T s = 1. The discrete-time model (4) has been also simulated and is represented in Figure 2 by a black dashed line. It can be observed, that the discrete-time model adequately represents the continuous-time CCU model. The fit between these two models is given in terms of coefficient of determination, i.e.

R T = 100 × 1

2

||y sim (k ) y (k )|| 2 ||y (k ) E [y (k )]|| 2

[%],

(5)

where y sim is the simulated system output (by the discrete- time model) and E [·] denotes the mathematical expectation

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True and simulated output −5 −10 −15 −20 −25 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 Time
True and simulated output
−5
−10
−15
−20
−25
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
Time index (samples)
Valve characteristics
1
0.5
0
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
u [−]
Fig. 3. The top plot shows simulated continuous-time system (grey solid
line) and identified discrete-time model (black dashed line). The bottom plot
shows the true (black solid line) and identified (black dashed line) valve static
characteristics. The valve authority is N v = 0.1 and the sampling interval is
T s = 1 [s].
2
2
operator. The model fit, in terms of R T , is then R T
[%] as expected.
= 99.99
B. Identification scheme
In practice, the exact shape of the valve static character-
istics (Hammerstein model) as well as the parameters of the
dynamic discrete-time model (4) are unknown and need to
be identified by means of system identification. It is assumed
that the Hammerstein model can be described by a 3 rd order
polynomial, i.e.
u˜(k ) = α 1 u(k ) + α 2 u 2 (k ) + α 3 u 3 (k ), (6)
where α 1,2,3 are coefficients to be estimated. It is known that
when u = 1 then u˜ = 1, so that the appropriate scaling of the
Hammerstein model is α 1 = 1 − α 2 − α 3 .
An optimization strategy is utilised to obtain both the
polynomial coefficients α 1,2,3 and the dynamic model coef-
ficients a 1 , b 1,2,3 and η 1,2 . Here, at each step, the polynomial
coefficients are optimised and then the dynamic model is iden-
tified using the new transformed input u˜. The dynamic model
coefficients are estimated utilising the standard instrumental
variables method, see [6], and the polynomial coefficients are
obtained such that the following quadratic cost function is
minimised
N
V
=
(y (i) − y sim (i)) 2 .
(7)
˜u [−]
y [ ◦ C]

i=1

The surrogate system of the CCU, see (1), (2) and (3) is simulated having N v = 0.1, which corresponds to a rather severe case, since in practice a value of N v of 0.4 or higher would be expected corresponding to an almost linearly shaped characteristic curve. A zero mean white measurement noise is added to the simulated output yielding a signal-to-noise ratio of SNR = 20 [dB ]. Both, the ‘measured’ and the simulated system outputs are given in Figure 3 together with the true and identified valve characteristics. When the noise free sys- tem output and the simulated discrete-time model output are

2

compared, a good model fit is achieved R T = 99.87 [%].

Note, that the saturation type nonlinearity (4) is considered to

be difficult to be identified together with the bilinear model

at the same time, since such a saturation nonlinearity can be

partially explained by the bilinear model as well.

III. A IR HANDLING UNIT: REAL SYSTEM CONSIDERATION

The identification procedure introduced in Section II-B has been applied to the actual CCU. Having two measured data

sets, the first data set (φ 1 ) is used for system identification only and the second data set (φ 2 ) is used for model validation

only. With respect to the CCU slow dynamics the sampling interval is chosen as T s = 20 [s]. The identification results are presented in Figures 4 and 5, for both the estimation and validation data sets, respectively. A good model fit has been achieved with R T = 98.35 [%] for φ 1 and R T = 95.55 [%]

2

2

for φ 2 , respectively. The identified valve characteristics has a S-shape (as expected). The estimated model coefficients are as follows: a 1 = 0.94(0.2 × 10 3 ), b 1 = 1.39(0.6 × 10 3 ),

η 1

= 0.038(0.5 × 10 3 ), b 2

= 0.86(3.5 × 10 3 ), b 3

=

0.87(3.5 × 10 3 ), η 2 = 0.16(0.6 × 10 3 ), α 1 = 1.95, α 2 =

4.10 and α 3 = 3.15, where the standard deviations are given in brackets.

IV. C ONCLUSIONS AND FURTHER WORK

A simplified first principles model of an AHU has been used as a surrogate for the actual AHU located at ADC UK. Based upon this an appropriate nonlinear discrete-time model of the AHU has been obtained. A dedicated optimisation scheme has been used for the parameter estimation of the proposed discrete-time model. A good model fit between the actual plant and the model has been reported. In further work, the developed model will be used for control optimisation of the PI/PID based temperature control system at ADC UK. Also, such a structured nonlinear model is highly suitable for model based control strategies, where effective scheduling of control gains can be automatically achieved. In this manner, the designed control performance is fulfilled over a pre-selected range, rather than at the point of tuning, as in the case when dealing with linear control strategies.

R EFERENCES

[1] D. Hill, T. Danne, and K. J. Burnham, “Modelling and control optimi- sation of desiccant rotor dehumidification plant within the heating ven- tilation and air conditioning systems of a medical device manufacturer,” in Proc. 20 th Int. Conf. Systems Engineering, Coventry, UK, 2009, pp.

207–212.

[2] I. Zajic, T. Larkowski, D. Hill, and K. J. Burnham, “Temperature model of clean room manufacturing area for control analysis,” in UKACC Int. Control Conf., Coventry, UK, 2010, pp. 1251–1256. [3] C. P. Underwood, “Robust control of HVAC plant I: modelling,” Building services engineering research and technology, vol. 21(1), pp. 53–61,

2000.

[4] ——, HVAC control systems: Modelling, analysis and design. London:

E.&F.N. Spon, 1999. [5] S. Martineau, K. J. Burnham, O. C. L. Haas, G. Andrews, and A. Heeley,

“Four-term bilinear PID controller applied to an industrial furnace,” IFAC J. Control Engineering Practice, vol. 12, pp. 457–464, 2003. [6] T. C. Hsia, System identification: least-squares methods. Lexington Books, 1977.

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Measured and simulated output (estimation data set)

0 −5 −10 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 y [ ◦ C]
0
−5
−10
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
y [ ◦ C]

Valve stem position

0.5 0 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 u [−]
0.5
0
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
u [−]

On-coil air temperature

28 26 24 22 20 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 T ai
28
26
24
22
20
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
T ai [ ◦ C]

Time index (samples)

Identified valve characteristics

1 0.5 0 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 ˜u [−]
1
0.5
0
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
˜u [−]

u []

Fig. 4.

The top plot shows measured system output (grey solid line) and simulated output (black dashed line). The middle two plots show the fractional

valve stem position and the on-coil air temperature. The bottom plot shows the identified valve static characteristics. Estimation data set has been used. The

sampling interval is T s = 20 [s].

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Measured and simulated output (validation data set) −4 −6 −8 −10 −12 −14 0 200 400
Measured and simulated output (validation data set)
−4
−6
−8
−10
−12
−14
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
Valve stem position
y [ ◦ C]
0.4 0.2 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 u [−]
0.4
0.2
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
u [−]

On-coil air temperature

30 25 20 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 T ai [ ◦ C]
30
25
20
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
T ai [ ◦ C]

Time index (samples)

Fig. 5.

The top plot shows measured system output (grey solid line) and simulated output (black dashed line). The middle plot shows the fractional valve

stem position, while the bottom plot presents the on-coil air temperature. Validation data set has been used. The sampling interval is T s = 20 [s].

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