This paper investigates how a simulated room’s energy and temperature performance are affected if its underfloor heating control is modelled with increasing detail. Experiments were performed to develop and calibrate an empirical model of wax motor and to calibrate the valve curve. These models were used to implement and test the On/Off and proportional-integral (PI) control processes at various levels of modelling detail. Controllers were implemented by gradually adding optimized control parameters, signal delay, calibrated valve curve, signal modulation, and actuator modelling. The On/Off control dead band and PI parameters exhibited the largest impact, reducing energy use (1%–5%) and temperature fluctuations (ca 1 K). Modulating the PI output signal increased temperature fluctuations to the same amplitude as On/Off with 0.5 K dead band, increasing space heating demand by 1.3%. The wax actuator counted for less than 1%; however, it increased time delays to maximally 7 min and remarkably changed the mass flows.
Parts , T M , Ferrantelli , A , Naar , H , Thalfeldt , M & Kurnitski , J 2023 , ‘ Wax actuator’s empirical model development and application to underfloor heating control with varying complexity of controller modelling detail ‘ , JOURNAL OF BUILDING PERFORMANCE SIMULATION . https://doi.org/10.1080/19401493.2023.2201818