Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Electrical & Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Rahul Mangharam


Energy systems are experiencing a gradual but substantial change in moving away from being non-interactive and manually-controlled systems to utilizing tight integration of both cyber (computation, communications, and control) and physical representations guided by first principles based models, at all scales and levels.

Furthermore, peak power reduction programs like demand response (DR) are becoming increasingly important as the volatility on the grid continues to increase due to regulation, integration of renewables and extreme weather conditions.

In order to shield themselves from the risk of price volatility, end-user electricity consumers must monitor electricity prices and be flexible in the ways they choose to use electricity.

This requires the use of control-oriented predictive models of an energy system’s dynamics and energy consumption. Such models are needed for understanding and improving the overall energy efficiency and operating costs.

However, learning dynamical models using grey/white box approaches is very cost and time prohibitive since it often requires significant financial investments in retrofitting the system with several sensors and hiring domain experts for building the model.

We present the use of data-driven methods for making model capture easy and efficient for cyber-physical energy systems.

We develop Model-IQ, a methodology for analysis of uncertainty propagation for building inverse modeling and controls.

Given a grey-box model structure and real input data from a temporary set of sensors, Model-IQ evaluates the effect of the uncertainty propagation from sensor data to model accuracy and to closed-loop control performance.

We also developed a statistical method to quantify the bias in the sensor measurement and to determine near optimal sensor placement and density for accurate data collection for model training and control.

Using a real building test-bed, we show how performing an uncertainty analysis can reveal trends about inverse model accuracy and control performance, which can be used to make informed decisions about sensor requirements and data accuracy.

We also present DR-Advisor, a data-driven demand response recommender system for the building's facilities manager which provides suitable control actions to meet the desired load curtailment while maintaining operations and maximizing the economic reward.

We develop a model based control with regression trees algorithm (mbCRT), which allows us to perform closed-loop control for DR strategy synthesis for large commercial buildings.

Our data-driven control synthesis algorithm outperforms rule-based demand response methods for a large DoE commercial reference building and leads to a significant amount of load curtailment (of 380kW) and over $45,000 in savings which is 37.9% of the summer energy bill for the building.

The performance of DR-Advisor is also evaluated for 8 buildings on Penn's campus; where it achieves 92.8% to 98.9% prediction accuracy.

We also compare DR-Advisor with other data driven methods and rank 2nd on ASHRAE's benchmarking data-set for energy prediction.

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