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Reducing energy use and operational cost of air conditioning systems with multi-objective evolutionary algorithms

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3 Author(s)
Cristian Perfumo ; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the University of Newcastle ; John K. Ward ; Julio H. Braslavsky

Air conditioning is responsible for around 60% of energy use in commercial buildings and is rapidly increasing in the residential sector. Although each system is individually small, the proliferation of air conditioning and the correlation of energy use with temperature is driving peak demand and the need for electricity distribution network upgrades. Energy retailers are now looking for ways to reduce this aggregate peak demand, leading to a tradeoff between peak demand, energy cost and the thermal comfort of building occupants. This paper presents a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA) to quantify trade-offs amongst these three competing goals. We study a scenario with 8 air conditioners (ACs) and compare our findings against the case of having all ACs working independently, irrespective of global goals. The results show that, with statistically significant certainty, any run of the MOEA outperforms any scenario where the ACs function independently to keep a given level of comfort on a typical hot day.

Published in:

IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation

Date of Conference:

18-23 July 2010