Modelica-based Modeling and Simulation to Support Research and Development in Building Energy and Control Systems

Publication Type

Journal Article




Traditional building simulation programs possess attributes that make them difficult to use for the design and analysis of building energy and control systems and for the support of model-based research and development of systems that may not already be implemented in these programs. This paper presents characteristic features of such applications, and it shows how equation-based object-oriented modeling can meet requirements that arise in such applications. Next, the implementation of an open-source component model library for building energy systems is presented. The library has been developed using the equation-based object-oriented Modelica modeling language. Technical challenges of modeling and simulating such systems are discussed. Research needs are presented to make this technology accessible to user groups that have more stringent requirements with respect to the numerical robustness of simulation than a research community may have. Two examples are presented in which models from the here described library were used. The first example describes the design of a controller for a nonlinear model of a heating coil using model reduction and frequency domain analysis. The second example describes the tuning of control parameters for a static pressure reset controller of a variable air volume flow system. The tuning has been done by solving a non-convex optimization problem that minimizes fan energy subject to state constraints.


Journal of Building Performance Simulation



Year of Publication






Research Areas