A Standard Simulation Testbed for the Evaluation of Control Algorithms & Strategies

Publication Type

Journal Article



This paper, which reports the results of ASHRAE Research Project 825, describes the development of a set of tools and supporting data to facilitate the evaluation of HVAC control algorithms and strategies using computer simulation. The tools consist of a documented set of component models for use in two component-based HVAC simulation programs. New models have been developed to enable explicit simulation of flow rates and pressure drops in ventilation systems, particularly variable-air-volume (VAV) systems, and detailed simulation of algorithms and strategies used in HVAC control systems. A mixed-use building equipped with a VAV HVAC system has been extensively documented, and a detailed model of the fabric, mechanical equipment, and controls has been produced in order to illustrate the capabilities and use of the tools. Values for the parameters in the component models describing the fabric and mechanical equipment are based on construction drawings, manufacturer's specifications, surveys, and measurements. Detailed models of the strategies for fan control, supply air temperature control, and room temperature control were developed from the controls manufacturer's technical information and the configuration of the actual control system. A simulation model of the whole building was then assembled from the models of the fabric, mechanical equipment, and controls. Results obtained by exercising the test bed in order to demonstrate its use in evaluating the performance of interacting control loops are presented. The paper concludes by discussing possible applications and extensions of the test bed.


ASHRAE Transactions



Year of Publication



Pt. 1A


Research Areas