Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Industrial Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Shihab S. Asfour

Second Committee Member

Murat Erkoc

Third Committee Member

Moataz Eltoukhy

Fourth Committee Member

Amir Rahmani


A practical cost and energy efficient model predictive control (MPC) strategy is proposed for HVAC load control under dynamic real-time electricity pricing. The MPC strategy is built based on a proposed model that jointly minimizes the total energy consumption and hence, cost of electricity for the user, and the deviation of the inside temperature from the consumer’s preference. An algorithm that assigns temperature set-points (reference temperatures) to price ranges based on the consumer’s discomfort tolerance index is developed. A practical parameter prediction model is also designed for mapping between the HVAC load and the inside temperature. The prediction model and the produced temperature set-points are integrated as inputs into the MPC controller, which is then used to generate signal actions for the AC unit. To investigate and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, a simulation based experimental analysis is presented using real-life pricing data. An actual prototype for the proposed HVAC load control strategy is then built and a series of prototype experiments are conducted similar to the simulation studies. The experiments reveal that the MPC strategy can lead to significant reductions in overall energy consumption and cost savings for the consumer. Results suggest that by providing an efficient response strategy for the consumers, the proposed MPC strategy can enable the utility providers to adopt efficient demand management policies using real-time pricing. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis is performed to display the economic feasibility of implementing such a controller as part of a building energy management system, and the payback period is identified considering cost of prototype build and cost savings to help the adoption of this controller in the building HVAC control industry.


Demand response; HVAC load control; Real-time electricity pricing; Model predictive control