^{Well-designed electrochromic (EC) glazing control can improve the energy performance of buildings and visual comfort of occupants in highly glazed buildings. This paper designed and demonstrated a compact integrated EC glazing automation system to control tint states of a split-pane EC window according to variations of sky conditions. The control is based on monitoring the luminance distribution of the sky and real-time lighting computation for a building interior, using an embedded photometric device (EPD). It optimizes tint states of EC glazing to offer sufficient daylight provision and temper discomfort glare for occupants, which potentially mitigates excessive solar heat gain. ’In-situ’ experiments were conducted in a full-scale testbed to demonstrate the daylighting performance under various sky conditions. Experimental results showed 83% of the working time for work-plane illuminance (WPI) and 95% of the time for daylight glare probability (DGP) were constrained in comfort range (WPI∈[500, 2000] lux, DGP ≤ 0.35) by the automated EC glazing (controlled by EPD) under clear skies; 68% of the time for WPI and 94% of the time for DGP in confined range under clear skies with thin clouds; 62% of the time for WPI and 85% of the time for DGP in confined range under partly cloudy skies.}

There is an increasing interest in the use of computer algorithms to identify combinations of parameters which optimize the energy performance of buildings. For such problems, the objective function can be multi-modal and needs to be approximated numerically using building energy simulation programs. As these programs contain iterative solution algorithms, they introduce discontinuities in the numerical approximation to the objective function. Metaheuristics often work well for such problems, but their convergence to a global optimum cannot be established formally. Moreover, different algorithms tend to be suited to particular classes of optimization problems. To shed light on this issue we compared the performance of two metaheuristics, the hybrid CMA-ES/HDE and the hybrid PSO/HJ, in minimizing standard benchmark functions and real-world building energy optimization problems of varying complexity. From this we find that the CMA-ES/HDE performs well on more complex objective functions, but that the PSO/HJ more consistently identifies the global minimum for simpler objective functions. Both identified similar values in the objective functions arising from energy simulations, but with different combinations of model parameters. This may suggest that the objective function is multi-modal. The algorithms also correctly identified some non-intuitive parameter combinations that were caused by a simplified controls sequence of the building energy system that does not represent actual practice, further reinforcing their utility.

%B Journal of Building Performance Simulation %V 3 %P 103-120 %G eng %N 2 %R 10.1080/19401490903494597