Evaluation of Chiller Modeling Approaches and Their Usability for Fault Detection

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Selecting the model is an important and essential step in model based fault detection and diagnosis (FDD). Several factors must be considered in model evaluation, including accuracy, training data requirements, calibration effort, generality, and computational requirements. All modeling approaches fall somewhere between pure first-principles models, and empirical models. The objective of this study was to evaluate different modeling approaches for their applicability to model based FDD of vapor compression air conditioning units, which are commonly known as chillers.

Three different models were studied: two are based on first-principles and the third is empirical in nature. The first-principles models are the Gordon and Ng Universal Chiller model (2nd generation), and a modified version of the ASHRAE Primary Toolkit model, which are both based on first principles. The DOE-2 chiller model as implemented in CoolToolsTM was selected for the empirical category. The models were compared in terms of their ability to reproduce the observed performance of an older chiller operating in a commercial building, and a newer chiller in a laboratory. The DOE-2 and Gordon-Ng models were calibrated by linear regression, while a direct-search method was used to calibrate the Toolkit model. The "CoolTools" package contains a library of calibrated DOE-2 curves for a variety of different chillers, and was used to calibrate the building chiller to the DOE-2 model.

All three models displayed similar levels of accuracy. Of the first principles models, the Gordon-Ng model has the advantage of being linear in the parameters, which allows more robust parameter estimation methods to be used and facilitates estimation of the uncertainty in the parameter values. The ASHRAE Toolkit Model may have advantages when refrigerant temperature measurements are also available. The DOE-2 model can be expected to have advantages when very limited data are available to calibrate the model, as long as one of the previously identified models in the CoolTools library matches the performance of the chiller in question.


Mechanical Engineering

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