Model predictive control for a smart solar tank based on weather and consumption forecasts

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In this work the heat dynamics of a storage tank were modelled on the basis of data and maximum likelihood methods. The resulting grey-box model was used for Economic Model Predictive Control (MPC) of the energy in the tank. The control objective was to balance the energy from a solar collector and the heat consumption in a residential house. The storage tank provides heat in periods where there is low solar radiation and stores heat when there is surplus solar heat. The forecasts of consumption patterns were based on data obtained from meters in a group of single-family houses in Denmark. The tank can also be heated by electric heating elements if necessary, but the electricity costs of operating these heating elements should be minimized. Consequently, the heating elements should be used in periods with cheap electricity. It is proposed to integrate a price-sensitive control to enable the storage tank to serve a smart energy system in which flexible consumers are expected to help balance fluctuating renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Through simulations, the impact of applying Economic MPC shows annual electricity cost savings up to 25-30%.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Procedia
Pages (from-to)270-278
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event1st International Conference on Solar Heating and Coolingfor Buildings and Industry (SHC 2012) - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 9 Jul 201211 Jul 2012


Conference1st International Conference on Solar Heating and Coolingfor Buildings and Industry (SHC 2012)
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Internet address


  • Model predictive control
  • Solar heating
  • Smart solar tank
  • Smart energy systems

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