Conference Year



Heating/cooling coil, valve control, valve hysteresis


Hysteresis and nonlinearity exist in most valves that are utilized in building HVAC systems, such as in cooling or heating coil valves. The hysteresis mainly comes from the manufacturing clearance in an actuator gearbox and nonlinearity in the variation of the regulated flow with respect to control signal originates from valve design. The combination of valve hysteresis and nonlinearity poses significant difficulties in obtaining a satisfactory control performance when utilizing a conventional PI controller. This paper presents experimental testing results of a set of valves in an operating HVAC system serving an office building. The test valves include VAV reheat coil and AHU cooling coil valves provided by two main-stream manufacturers. Open-loop experiments were carried out that can be used to analyze the valve performance in terms of hysteresis and nonlinearity. Valve closed-loop performance was also investigated and the results showed that valves with significant hysteresis and nonlinear characteristics could lead to unsatisfactory supply air or zone air temperature controls with severe temperature oscillation and control chattering.Â