Feed Forward Control of a Micro-CHP Unit and its contribution to Low Energy Housing in the UK

  • Lisa Collins

Student thesis: Phd


This investigation has analysed the impact on energy consumption for heating and cooling in UK housing stock, from the predicted future global warming effect, up to the 2080s. It was found that, up to the 2050s, it is likely that heating rather than cooling will remain the main source of energy use, in a pessimistic business-as-usual scenario. Micro-CHP (domestic scale combined heat and power plant) offers a medium term low carbon solution for the replacement of heating equipment. The operation of a micro-CHP unit in a time-of-use electricity tariff scenario for existing UK housing stock was simulated. The investigation analysed whether electrical export earnings could be increased by the use of feed forward control in comparison to a conventional control strategy of timed operation with optimised start, without serious compromise to fuel consumption. It has been found that the use of an auto-regressive model with exogenous input (ARX) model can adequately describe thermal characteristics of a typical house for a model based predictive controller. It was demonstrated that export earnings could be increased significantly without additional fuel consumption by accepting dynamic heating operation within a comfort range, rather than a static setpoint value. Compared to a conventional control strategy, overall CO2 emissions and peak network electricity demand were reduced. This approach increased electrical export earnings without additional fuel consumption during theoretical testing and has potential for further development. These finding confirm a positive case for utilising time-of-use electricity tariffs and could contribute significantly towards increasing the productivity of micro-CHP.
Date of Award1 Aug 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJonathan Dewsbury (Supervisor) & Rodger Edwards (Supervisor)


  • heat
  • control
  • feed forward
  • CHP
  • electricity

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