MILP-based Imitation Learning for HVAC control

12/01/2020
by   Huy Truong Dinh, et al.
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To optimize the operation of a HVAC system with advanced techniques such as artificial neural network, previous studies usually need forecast information in their method. However, the forecast information inevitably contains errors all the time, which degrade the performance of the HVAC operation. Hence, in this study, we propose MILP-based imitation learning method to control a HVAC system without using the forecast information in order to reduce energy cost and maintain thermal comfort at a given level. Our proposed controller is a deep neural network (DNN) trained by using data labeled by a MILP solver with historical data. After training, our controller is used to control the HVAC system with real-time data. For comparison, we also develop a second method named forecast-based MILP which control the HVAC system using the forecast information. The performance of the two methods is verified by using real outdoor temperatures and real day-ahead prices in Detroit city, Michigan, United States. Numerical results clearly show that the performance of the MILP-based imitation learning is better than that of the forecast-based MILP method in terms of hourly power consumption, daily energy cost, and thermal comfort. Moreover, the difference between results of the MILP-based imitation learning method and optimal results is almost negligible. These optimal results are achieved only by using the MILP solver at the end of a day when we have full information on the weather and prices for the day.

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