Master's thesis Markus Siethoff


Design of a test bench for an agent based control system for building supply systems

Copyright: EBC

The aim of this work is to develop a test bench for an agent-based control concept for facilities of building technology. Therefore, an experimental setup is available. It contains a central air conditioner and four test rooms, which can be climatized centrally and locally.

The modern software for visualization of technical processes in buildings (building management system) comes to its limits, because systems of building technology are arranged more and more locally and are getting more complex. Besides, more flexibility in the structure, the distribution of tasks and resources and the power distribution of the systems of building technology is required. A connection of modern regulation technology with an agent-based regulation is a possible approach to fulfil the requirements.

“An agent is an encapsulated (hardware/software) entity with specified objectives. An agent endeavours to reach these objectives through its autonomous behaviour, in interacting with is environment and with other agents.”

The agent system in hand has the aim, to build the optimal conditions (room temperature and air quality) in the testing rooms as cost- efficient as possible. The agents can be placed locally on the supply unit, where they negotiate about the operating of the needed components. The negotiations are based on individual cost functions, with which the favorable operating costs are calculated autonomously and the releases to begin operations are given to the accordant components. The advantage of this regulation is, that the agents organize themselves during operation in accordance with the current requirements and assign tasks to the components independently.

The agent-based control concept is implemented in JADE, a framework that is designed especially for the programming of agents. As a basis for the automation of the components of the test setup Shared Logic, a regulation software from the company Belimo, is used.

The functionality of the test stand is verified by means of test scenarios. The analysis of the measurement profiles indicates the interference of the agents regarding the room temperature development and the development of heating requirements.