Application of Fuzzy Logic in Control of Thermal Comfort

Stephen, Elizabeth Amudhini; Shnathi, Mercy; Rajalakshmy, P.; Parthido, M. Melbern
June 2010
International Journal of Computational & Applied Mathematics;2010, Vol. 5 Issue 3, p289
Academic Journal
Providing thermal comfort and saving energy are two main goals of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. A controller with temperature feedback cannot best achieve the thermal comfort. This is because thermal comfort is influenced by many variables such as, temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, environment radiation, activity level and cloths insulation. A new approach based on fuzzy logic to estimate the thermal comfort level depending on the state of the following six variables: the air temperature, the mean radiant temperature, the relative humidity, the air velocity, the activity level of occupants and their clothing insulation. The new fuzzy thermal sensation index is calculated implicitly as the consequence of linguistic rules that describe human's comfort level as the result of the interaction of the environmental variables with the occupant's personal parameters. The fuzzy comfort model is deduced on the basis of learning Fanger's 'Predicted Mean Vote'_PMV.equation. Unlike Fanger's PMV, the new fuzzy PMV calculation does not require an iterative solution and can be easily adjusted depending on the specific thermal sensation of users. These characteristics make it an attractive index for feedback control of HVAC systems. In this study fuzzy predicted mean value (PMV) index is used as controller feedback. It is simplified without introducing significant error. Thermal models of the cabin and HVAC system are developed. Evaporator cooling capacity is selected as a criterion for energy consumption. Two fuzzy controllers one with temperature as its feedback and the other PMV index as its feedback are designed. Results show that the PMV feedback controller better controls the thermal comfort and energy consumption than the system with temperature feedback.


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