The University of Sheffield
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering

Model Predictive Control Of Naturally Ventilated Atria.

Supervisor: Dr Abigail Hathway

Buildings contribute significantly to Carbon Dioxide emissions in the UK and globally. In order to reduce the energy use, and resulting carbon dioxide emissions from buildings, much research has been carried out on low energy building design. However, in practice buildings still under perform providing poor comfort to occupants at high energy use.

Natural ventilation is theoretically able to keep buildings comfortable during summer in many parts of the world. Large naturally ventilated atria are particularly thought to enhance comfort due to the stack effect driving air flow through the building during warm weather. However, in practice such designs are hard to control, often leading to areas of uncomfortably high temperatures near the upper floors of the buildings.

This project will bring together experimental work in fluid dynamics, with model predictive control to investigate how the control of window openings can be improved to provide better comfort in naturally ventilated buildings.

This project is NOT FUNDED, although Departmental/University scholarships are available for applicants who can demonstrate strong evidence of research potential.