Mezić Research Group

Dynamical Systems and Nonlinear Control Theory

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Building Systems

Energy Modeling

Whole building energy modeling is an activity that takes the architectural information from a building design, typical weather patterns, predicted occupant usage and operational profiles to calculate comfort and energy use within a building. Our group conducts research using a variety of modeling and simulation tools such as EnergyPlus (along with Design Builder and Google Sketchup for graphical input), TRYNSYS, eQUEST, and Modelica. To date, our group has analyzed a variety of buildings, both on and off the UCSB campus, for purposes such as energy modeling for control optimization, fault analysis, LEED certification, and retrofit design.

Although complex, the background necessary to begin studying building performance can be accessible to anyone with a technical background. Because of this, we have had several student interns, including high school students, undergraduates and graduate students from UCSB, as well as undergraduates from other universities that have assisted in our research.

Last Updated on Sunday, 03 July 2011 14:59

Model Analysis

Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis

As building energy modeling becomes more sophisticated, the amount of user input and the number of parameters used to define the models are growing. There are numerous sources of uncertainty in these parameters especially when the modeling process is being performed prior to final construction and commissioning. Past efforts to perform sensitivity and uncertainty analysis have focused on tens of parameters. In this work, we increase the size of analysis by two orders of magnitude (by studying the influence of a few thousand parameters). In addition to this, once uncertainty is quantified in the output of a building model with uncertain input parameters, sensitivity analysis is typically performed to identify which of these input parameters are most influential. We extend this analysis even further to decompose the influence pathway through the dynamics, which identifies which internal or intermediate variables induce the most influence on the output.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 14:39

Data Analysis

Visualization tools

A typical building, with a modern control system, produces about 2 million data points per day (~1500 points @ 1 per minute intervals). On the other hand, a building operator usually has very few questions that they would like answered from this data; is the building comfortable, functioning normally, and is energy wasted in the operation of the building. In a scenario were a building operator is managing multiple buildings, many of these questions can remain unanswered unless a problem arises.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 July 2011 11:53

Case Studies

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary - LEED Study

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Building (CINMS) is a small sized educational building intended for research in ecological science. The building incorporates several energy reducing features including naturally ventilated offices and atrium as well as an ocean based heat pump. Currently the CINMS is under construction with completion planned during fall 2011. An energy model of the CINMS was created to gauge the effectiveness of the building’s energy efficient design. Used for obtaining LEED certification, the energy model is eligible for 10 out of 10 possible LEED points.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 July 2011 11:40