Model Predictive Control, Scheduling, Moving Horizon, Feedback
In this paper, we examine closed-loop operation of an HVAC central plant to demonstrate that closed-loop receding-horizon scheduling provides robustness to inaccurate forecasts, and that economic performance is not seriously impaired by shortened prediction horizons or inaccurate forecasts when feedback is employed. Using a general mixed-integer linear programming formulation for the scheduling problem, we show that optimization can be performed in real time. Furthermore, we demonstrate that closed-loop operation with a moderate prediction horizon is not significantly worse than a long-horizon implementation in the nominal case, and that closed-loop operation can correct for inaccurate long-term forecasts without significant cost increase. In addition, we show that terminal constraints can be employed to ensure recursive feasibility. The end result is that forecasts of demand need not be extremely accurate over long times, indicating that closed-loop scheduling can be implemented in new or existing central plants.