Scenario-based nonlinear model predictive control for building heating systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


State-of-the-art Model Predictive Control (MPC) applications for building heating adopt either a deterministic controller together with a nonlinear model or a linearized model with a stochastic MPC controller. However, deterministic MPC only considers one single realization of the disturbances and its performance strongly depends on the quality of the forecast of the disturbances, which can lead to low performance. In fact, inadequate building energy management can lead to high energy costs and CO2 emissions. On the other hand, a linearized model can fail to capture some dynamics and behavior of the building under control. In this article, we combine a stochastic scenario-based MPC (SBMPC) controller together with a nonlinear Modelica model that is able to provide a richer building description and to capture the dynamics of the building more accurately than linear models. The adopted SBMPC controller considers multiple realizations of the external disturbances obtained through a statistically accurate model, so as to consider different possible disturbance evolutions and to robustify the control action. To this purpose, we present a scenario generation method for building temperature control that can be applied to several exogenous perturbartions, e.g. solar irradiance, outside temperature, and that satisfies several important stastistical properties, in contrast with simpler and less accurate methods adopted in the literature. We show the benefits of our proposed approach through several simulations in which we compare our method against the standard ones from the literature, for several combinations of a trade-off parameter between comfort and energy cost. We show how our SBMPC controller approach outperforms the standard controllers available in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111108
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Control of buildings
  • Model predictive control
  • Modelica
  • Scenario-based model predictive control


Dive into the research topics of 'Scenario-based nonlinear model predictive control for building heating systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this