Title:
AIR CONDITIONING CONTROLLING DEVICE AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An air-conditioning controlling device sends to an air-conditioning system, which controls air-conditioning equipment that is provided in an air-conditioned space, a control setting value, to control the air-conditioned space to an arbitrary air-conditioning environment. The air-conditioning controlling device includes a data inputting portion that obtains a surface temperature of a boundary member that structures the air-conditioned space, measured within the air-conditioned space, a reverse analysis portion that estimates a control setting value for controlling the air-conditioned space to the target air-conditioning environment through performing reverse analysis of the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, based on setting condition data that indicates a structure of the air-conditioned space and boundary condition data that indicates the effect on the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, including the surface temperature, and an air-conditioning instructing portion that sends, to the air-conditioning system, the control setting value estimated by the reverse analysis portion.



Inventors:
Honda, Mitsuhiro (Tokyo, JP)
Application Number:
14/456256
Publication Date:
02/12/2015
Filing Date:
08/11/2014
Assignee:
AZBIL CORPORATION (Tokyo, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24F11/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Foreign References:
JP2004325035A2004-11-18
Primary Examiner:
CRENSHAW, HENRY T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OBLON, MCCLELLAND, MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P. (1940 DUKE STREET, ALEXANDRIA, VA, 22314, US)
Claims:
1. An air-conditioning controlling device for sending to an air-conditioning system, which controls air-conditioning equipment that is provided in an air-conditioned space, a control setting value, to control the air-conditioned space to an arbitrary air-conditioning environment, the air-conditioning controlling device comprising: a data inputting portion that obtains a surface temperature of a boundary member that structures the air-conditioned space, measured within the air-conditioned space; a reverse analysis portion that estimates a control setting value for controlling the air-conditioned space to the target air-conditioning environment through performing reverse analysis of the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, based on setting condition data that indicates a structure of the air-conditioned space and boundary condition data that indicates the effect on the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, including the surface temperature; and an air-conditioning instructing portion that sends, to the air-conditioning system, the control setting value estimated by the reverse analysis portion.

2. The air conditioning controlling device as set forth in claim 1, wherein: the data inputting portion extracts the surface temperature from temperature distribution data detected by an infrared array sensor that is disposed within the air-conditioned space.

3. An air-conditioning controlling method used in an air-conditioning controlling device for sending to an air-conditioning system, which controls air-conditioning equipment that is provided in an air-conditioned space, a control setting value, to control the air-conditioned space to an arbitrary air-conditioning environment, the air-conditioning controlling method comprising: a data inputting step wherein a data inputting portion obtains a surface temperature of a boundary member that structures the air-conditioned space, measured within the air-conditioned space; a reverse analyzing step wherein a reverse analysis portion estimates a control setting value for controlling the air-conditioned space to the target air-conditioning environment through performing reverse analysis of the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, based on setting condition data that indicates a structure of the air-conditioned space and boundary condition data that indicates the effect on the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, including the surface temperature; and an air-conditioning instructing step wherein an air-conditioning instructing portion sends, to the air-conditioning system, the control setting value estimated in the reverse analysis step.

4. An air conditioning controlling method as set forth in claim 3, wherein: the data inputting step extracts the surface temperature from temperature distribution data detected by an infrared array sensor that is disposed within the air-conditioned space.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119 to Japanese Patent Application No. 2013-167336, filed on Aug. 12, 2013, the entire content of which being hereby incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY

The present disclosure relates to an air conditioning controlling technology, and, in particular, relates to an air conditioning controlling technology for controlling a conditioning environment in a target location within a space.

BACKGROUND

Conventionally there have been proposals for air-conditioning controlling technologies for controlling the air-conditioning environment in a target location within an air space using thermal analysis techniques. See, for example, Kazuya HARAYAMA, Mitsuhiro HONDA and Chosei KASEDA, “Development of Thermal Comfort Control Technology for Indoor Arbitrary Area Based on Distribution Simulation”, 2010 Conference, 1-20, The Society of Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Sanitary Engineers of Japan, Sep. 1, 2010. In this technique, the initial air-conditioned states in the applicable air-conditioned spaces are analyzed sequentially to estimate distribution data that indicates the distribution of the temperatures and air flows within the air-conditioned spaces, and reverse analysis is performed for the distribution data and the target temperatures in the target locations in order to estimate new control setting values pertaining to the air-conditioning control, where the blowing speeds and blowing temperatures at the blowing vents for the individual air-conditioning equipment that are provided within the air-conditioned space are calculated based on the new control setting values.

Typically, in the distributed systems heat flow analysis method, which is one thermal analysis technique, when estimating a controlled setting value for controlling an air-conditioned space to a target air-conditioning environment, it is necessary to take into account not just the heating effects, on the air-conditioning environment, of heat-producing bodies that exist within the air-conditioned space, but also the heating effect, on the air-conditioning environment of adjacent rooms that are outside of the air-conditioned space, and of outside boundaries. Because of this, in conventional air-conditioning control, boundary condition data are applied as data indicating the amounts of these effects.

Furthermore, these boundary condition data are applied the same way as described above even when estimating desired control setting values for air-conditioning equipment using other thermal analysis techniques, such as centralized thermal analysis methods, instead of the distributed system heat flow analysis method.

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating a conventional air-conditioning system. Here, in the air-conditioning controlling device, reverse analysis is performed on the boundary condition data, such as heat producing bodies, adjacent room temperature, outside air temperature, and the like, to estimate the desire to control setting values.

Boundary condition data can be broadly divided into internal boundary condition data, which indicate the effects from within the air-conditioned space, and external boundary condition data, which indicate the effects from outside of the air-conditioned space.

Typical internal boundary condition data are heat producing body data that indicate the locations, amount of heat production, shapes, and the like, of the various heat producing bodies, such as people, electronic equipment, and the like, that exist within the air-conditioned space. Typical external boundary condition data are adjacent space data pertaining to adjacent spaces that are adjacent to the air-conditioned space, such as the adjacent room temperatures, and the surface area of adjacency, of an adjacent room that exists on the same floor, or the floor above or below, with the air-conditioned space, the outside air temperature, and the area of adjacency therewith, of the outside environment that is adjacent to the air-conditioned space. These adjacent room temperatures and outside air temperatures use, for example, measurements by temperature sensors that are provided in the adjacent rooms or outside of the building.

Normally, these types of boundary condition data that exhibit a thermal effect on the air-conditioned space are essentially constant, or change gradually, but the exterior boundary condition data, comprising adjacent space data such as the adjacent room temperature or outside room temperature, may have large and rapid variations. For example, in the summer time, there may be a sudden increase in the adjacent room temperature if the air conditioner in the adjacent room is switched OFF. Moreover, there are also rapid changes in the outside air temperature in response to changes in weather, such as direct sunshine, wind, rain, snow, and the like.

Consequently, when, in the conventional technology, there is a sudden change in temperature in an adjacent space, this change is reflected immediately into the boundary condition data, causing the control setting values that are estimated through the thermal analysis technique to undergo large changes as well. Because of this, there is a problem, albeit transient, that it may not be possible to maintain the air-conditioning environment of the air-conditioned space in a suitable state.

The present invention is to solve this problem, and an aspect thereof is to provide an air-conditioning controlling technology that is able to maintain the air-conditioning environment in a suitable state even when there is a large variation in temperature of an adjacent space that is adjacent to the air-conditioned space, in air-conditioning control that uses a thermal analysis technique.

SUMMARY

In order to achieve the aspect set forth above, the air-conditioning controlling device according to the present invention is an air-conditioning controlling device for sending to an air-conditioning system, which controls air-conditioning equipment that is provided in an air-conditioned space, a control setting value, to control the air-conditioned space to an arbitrary air-conditioning environment. The air-conditioning controlling device includes: a data inputting portion that obtains a surface temperature of a boundary member that structures the air-conditioned space, measured within the air-conditioned space; a reverse analysis portion that estimates a control setting value for controlling the air-conditioned space to the target air-conditioning environment through performing reverse analysis of the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, based on setting condition data that indicates a structure of the air-conditioned space and boundary condition data that indicates the effect on the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, including the surface temperature; and an air-conditioning instructing portion that sends, to the air-conditioning system, the control setting value estimated by the reverse analysis portion.

In one structural example of an air conditioning controlling device according to the present invention, the data inputting portion extracts the surface temperature from temperature distribution data detected by an infrared array sensor that is disposed within the air-conditioned space.

The air conditioning controlling method according to the present invention is an air-conditioning controlling method used in an air-conditioning controlling device for sending to an air-conditioning system, which controls air-conditioning equipment that is provided in an air-conditioned space, a control setting value, to control the air-conditioned space to an arbitrary air-conditioning environment. The air conditioning controlling method includes: a data inputting step wherein a data inputting portion obtains a surface temperature of a boundary member that structures the air-conditioned space, measured within the air-conditioned space; a reverse analyzing step wherein a reverse analysis portion estimates a control setting value for controlling the air-conditioned space to the target air-conditioning environment through performing reverse analysis of the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, based on setting condition data that indicates a structure of the air-conditioned space and boundary condition data that indicates the effect on the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, including the surface temperature; and an air-conditioning instructing step wherein an air-conditioning instructing portion sends, to the air-conditioning system, the control setting value estimated in the reverse analysis step.

In one structural example of an air conditioning controlling method according to the present invention, the data inputting step extracts the surface temperature from temperature distribution data detected by an infrared array sensor that is disposed within the air-conditioned space.

The present invention uses, as boundary condition data, the surface temperatures of the boundary members that structure the air-conditioned space, thus making it possible to estimate the control setting values for providing direction to the air-conditioning system based on the actual thermal effects that have arrived at the wall surfaces through the boundary members of the air-conditioned space from an adjacent room or from the outside world.

As a result, no mismatch will occur between the boundary condition data and the influence from the outside that is actually experienced by the air-conditioned space, such as in the conventional estimation of control setting values using adjacent room temperatures or outside air temperatures. Because of this, it is possible to maintain the air-conditioning environment in a suitable state even when there are large variations in the temperatures of the adjacent spaces that are adjacent to the air-conditioned space.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a structure of an air-conditioning controlling device according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating an air-conditioning system according to Example.

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating air-conditioning controlling operations according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating the air-conditioning controlling process according to the Example.

FIG. 5 is results of a simulation illustrating air-conditioning controlling operations according to the present disclosure.

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating a conventional air-conditioning system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The principle behind the present disclosure will be explained first.

When estimating control setting values for controlling the air-conditioned space to a target air-conditioning environment in the distributed system heat flow analysis technique, which is one thermal analysis technique, the adjacent room temperatures of the adjacent rooms, the outside air temperature outside of the building, and the like, are used as boundary condition data in order to take into consideration the effects, on the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, from the factors that are outside of the air-conditioned space. The same is true also for the case wherein a centralized thermal analysis method, which is another thermal analysis method, is used instead of the distributed system heat flow analysis method.

Because of this, as described above, when there is a rapid change in the boundary condition data, as an effect thereof there will also be a large change in the control setting values that are estimated using a thermal analysis technique, and, as a result, it may become impossible to maintain the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space in a suitable state.

This phenomenon can be considered to be produced by the following mechanism. When there is a rapid increase in the adjacent room temperature due to the air-conditioning in the adjacent room being switched OFF in the summer time, that change is inputted as boundary condition data. Through this, the increase in temperature in the air-conditioned space due to the effects on the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space from the adjacent room is estimated through the thermal analysis technique to derive control setting value data for canceling out that increase in temperature. The air-conditioning equipment is controlled based on these control setting value data, producing a phenomenon wherein the temperature within the room overshoots temporarily in the downward direction.

At this time, the factor that causes the air-conditioning environment of the air-conditioned space to go to an unsuitable stay when there is a rapid change in the boundary condition data is that the effects from the outside, indicated by the boundary condition data, do not correctly reflect the effects that are actually experienced from the outside. In terms of the example described above, the boundary condition data indicate an increase in temperature that is larger than the actual increase in temperature caused by the adjacent room.

When the causes of the occurrence of the mismatch between the effect from the outside that is actually experienced by the air-conditioned space and the boundary condition data are analyzed in detail, it can be understood that the effect of the increase in temperature that is actually received from the adjacent room is less than the effect indicated by the boundary condition data. This is because the effects of the increase in temperature that are actually received from the outside are buffered by the boundary members, such as the walls, ceilings, floors, and the like, that form the air-conditioned space, so the effects are not experienced immediately.

The present invention focuses on the buffering and delay of the temperature change from outside of the air-conditioned space by the boundary members of the air-conditioned space, to use, as the boundary condition data in the thermal analysis technique, the amounts of the effects there are on the air-conditioned space after passing through these boundary members. Specifically, the surface temperatures of the boundary members that structure the air-conditioned space, measured from within the air-conditioned space, are used as a portion of the boundary condition data in the thermal analysis technique.

A form for carrying out the present disclosure will be explained next in reference to the figures.

EXAMPLE

An air conditioning controlling device 10 according to Example will be explained first, in reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a structure of an air-conditioning controlling device according to the present disclosure. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating an air-conditioning system according to the present example.

The air conditioning controlling device 10 includes an information processing device such as a personal computer or a server, and has a function for controlling the air conditioning environment within an air-conditioned space 30 through controlling an air-conditioning system 20 based on control setting values estimated through a thermal analysis technique.

As the primary structure thereof, the air-conditioning system 20 is provided with an air-conditioning processing device 21, air-conditioning equipment 22, temperature sensors 23, and an infrared thermometer 24.

The air-conditioning processing device 21 is structured, as a whole, from an information processing device such as a personal computer, a server device, or the like, and has a function for feeding back the air-conditioned air that is blown into the air-conditioned space 30 by the air-conditioning equipment 22, to control the air-conditioning environment of the air-conditioned space 30, based on control setting values sent through communication lines L from the air-conditioning controlling device 10, and a function for measuring the air temperature within the air-conditioned space 30 or a surface temperature distribution in the air-conditioned space 30 side of a boundary member that structures the air-conditioned space 30, using the temperature sensors 23 or the infrared thermometer 24, and for providing instructions to the air-conditioning controlling device 10 through the communication lines L. In particular, accurate measurements of the surface temperature distribution can be taken through the use of a thermopile-type infrared array sensor as the infrared thermometer 24.

Air Conditioning Controlling Device

FIG. 1 and FIG. 3 will be referenced next to explain in detail the air conditioning controlling device 10 according to the present example. FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating air-conditioning controlling operations according to the present disclosure.

This air conditioning controlling device 10 is provided with a communication I/F portion (hereinafter termed the communication I/F portion) 11, an operation inputting portion 12, a screen displaying portion 13, a storing portion 14, and a calculation processing portion 15, as the primary functional components thereof.

The communication I/F portion 11 is made from a dedicated data communication circuit, and has the function of performing data communication with external devices, such as the air-conditioning system, connected through a communication line L.

The operation inputting portion 12 is made from operation inputting devices such as a keyboard, a mouse, a touch panel, or the like, and has a function for detecting an operator operation and outputting it to the calculation processing portion 15.

The screen displaying portion 13 is made from a screen displaying device such as an LCD, and has a function for displaying, on a screen, various types of information, such as an operating menu and input/output data, in accordance with instructions from the calculation processing portion 15.

The storing portion 14 is made from a storage device, such as a hard disk or a semiconductor memory, and has a function for storing various types of processing data and a program 14P used by the calculation processing portion 15.

The program 14P is a program that is read out and executed by the calculation processing portion 15, and is stored in advance into the storing portion 14 through the communication OF portion 11 from an external device or recording medium.

The calculation processing portion 15 has a microprocessor, such as a CPU and the peripheral circuitry thereof, and has the function of embodying a variety of processing portions through reading in and executed the program 14P from the storing portion 14.

The main processing portions that are embodied by the calculation processing portion 15 are a data inputting portion 15A, a reverse analysis portion 15B, and an air-conditioning instructing portion 15C.

The data inputting portion 15A has a function for storing in advance, into the storing portion 14, the various types of processing information that is used by the calculation processing portion 15, inputted through the communication OF portion 11 from an external recording medium or device such as the air-conditioning system 20, and a function for obtaining surface temperatures of a boundary member that structures the air-conditioned space 30, measured within the air-conditioned space 30, based on a surface temperature distribution sent from the air-conditioning system 20.

As specific examples of surface temperatures, there are the surface temperatures of the boundary members, such as the interior walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, and the like, that structure the air-conditioned space 30. The data inputting portion 15A receives, through the communication OF portion 11, the surface temperature distributions measured by the infrared thermometers 24 that are provided within the air-conditioned space 30, and extracts, from the surface temperature distributions, desired surface temperatures such as sidewall surface temperatures, ceiling surface temperatures, floor surface temperatures, and the like. At this time, the temperatures of specific locations within the surface temperature distributions may be extracted as surface temperatures representing the surrounding area based on location information corresponding to the surface temperature distribution, or may be an average of the temperatures of specific areas within the surface temperature distribution may be extracted as the representative surface temperatures for representing the surrounding areas.

The reverse analysis portion 15B has a function for calculating, and outputting as control setting value data 14D, control setting values for controlling the air-conditioned space 30 to the target air-conditioning environment, through performing reverse analysis on the boundary condition data 14A, the setting condition data 14B, and the target data 14C.

The reverse analysis portion 15B uses a reverse analysis technique of a thermal analysis method such as the distributed system flow analysis technique or the centralized thermal analysis technique.

Of these, the distributed system flow analysis technique is a technique for calculating, through numerical calculations, the distributions of temperature, air flow rates, and the like, from boundary conditions based on CFD (computational fluid dynamics). In a typical CFD, the space of interest is divided into a mesh of element spaces, and the heat flow between adjacent element spaces is analyzed.

Forward analysis in the distributed system heat flow analysis method is a technology for calculating the air-conditioning environment, such as the temperature distribution or airflow rate distribution, or the like, within the air-conditioned space 30 from the boundary condition data 14A and setting condition data 14B for the air-conditioned space 30 using a model, such as equations, that is established in advance, and may use known technologies. See, for example, Shinsuke KATO, Hikaru KOBAYASHI, and Shuzo MURAKAMI, “Scales for Assessing Contribution of Heat Sources and Sinks to Temperature Distributions in Room by Means of Numerical Simulation”, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, Air-Conditioning and Sanitation Engineering Reports No. 69, pp. 39 to 47, April 1998 (“KATO”).

On the other hand, reverse analysis in the distributed system heat flow analysis method is a technology for calculating final control setting values for achieving the target air-conditioning environment through adjusting the control setting values from the forward analysis through the magnitudes of the sensitivities by calculating sensitivities (or contributions) of equipment relative to the locations for which a desired air-conditioning environment is to be achieved, and may use known technologies. See, for example, KATO, and also Kouhei ABE, Kazunari MOMOSE and Hideo KIMOTO, “Optimization of Natural Convection Field Using Adjoint Numerical Analysis”, Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. B, Vol. 70; No. 691, Page 729-736, March 2004.

In particular, any of a variety of known optimization techniques may be used in the reverse analysis. There are gradient techniques wherein initial values are provided for the solution (the control setting values), and the values are iteratively updated in the directions wherein the objective is improved, genetic algorithm techniques wherein a large number of initial values are prepared and several that are closest to the objective are selected therefrom and the characteristics thereof are combined to produce subsequent candidate solutions, and the like.

On the other hand, in the centralized system thermal analysis method there are techniques wherein the target space is viewed as a single point, and heat flows into and out of that point are calculated to find the temperature of the target space. While the airflow within the target space cannot be calculated as a result, there is the benefit that, when compared to the distributed system, the time required for the calculation is dramatically reduced. Here the “target space” may be the entirety of the room, or may be an air-conditioning control zone (known as a “VAV unit,” or the like).

In the forward analysis in the centralized thermal analysis techniques there are cases wherein the solution can be found analytically, and also cases wherein all conceivable candidates can be calculated in a short enough time as to not become an impediment to control.

The boundary condition data 14A is data indicating the magnitude of effects on the air-conditioning environment of the air-conditioned space 30, where magnitudes of effects that are manifested in the airflow rates, airflow directions, and temperatures, are recorded as boundary conditions at the applicable points in time for each individual structural element wherein the effects on the air-conditioning environment of the air-conditioned space 30 will change.

In particular, in the present invention the boundary condition data 14A includes, as the amounts of effects from adjacent rooms, the outside world, and the like, on the air-conditioning environment after passing through the boundary members that form the air-conditioned space 30, data indicating the surface temperatures of the boundary members that structure the air-conditioned space 30, measured within the air-conditioned space 30 and obtained by the data inputting portion 15A.

The setting condition data 14B includes various types of data that form the setting conditions when performing the heat flow analysis processes, such as spatial condition data that represent locations and shapes pertaining to the structural elements that have an impact on the air conditioning environment of the air-conditioned space 30, such as locations and shapes pertaining to the air-conditioned space 30, conditioned air blowing vents formed in the air-conditioning system 20, and the like, along with, for example, heat-producing object data that indicate the layout position, amount of heat produced, and shape of each heat-producing object that is disposed in the air-conditioned space 30.

In particular, in the present invention the setting condition data 14B includes data indicating the surface areas of wall surface regions that are represented in the surface temperatures, corresponding to the surface temperatures that are included in the boundary condition data 14A.

The target data 14C is data indicating the target temperatures, or comfort or energy, at target locations within the air-conditioned space 30.

The control setting value data 14D are data indicating the control setting values, such as the supply air temperature or supply air flow rate, or the like, for each of the air-conditioning equipment 22 in order to control the air-conditioned space 30 to the target air-conditioning environment, calculated by the reverse analyzing portion 15B.

The air-conditioning instructing portion 15C has a function for sending, to the air-conditioning system 20, through the communication I/F portion 11, the control setting values that are included in the control setting value data 14D from the reverse analyzing portion 15B.

Operation of the Example

The operation of the air conditioning controlling device 10 according to the present example will be explained next in reference to FIG. 4. FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating the air conditioning controlling process according to the example.

The calculation processing portion 15 of the air conditioning controlling device 10 begins the air conditioning controlling process of FIG. 4 at the time of startup or in response to an operator operation.

Here, as an example, a case will be explained wherein the control setting values for controlling the air-conditioned space 30 to the target air-conditioning environment are estimated using a distributed system heat flow analysis technique. Note that prior to the start of execution of the air-conditioning controlling processes, boundary condition data 14A, setting condition data 14B, and target data 14C are stored in advance in the storing portion 14.

First, the data inputting portion 15A obtains, and stores in the boundary condition data 14A of the storing portion 14, surface temperatures of the boundary members that structure the air-conditioned space 30, measured within the air-conditioned space 30, based on surface temperature distributions from the air-conditioning system 20, inputted through the communication I/F portion 11 (Step 100).

Following this, the reverse analysis portion 15B evaluates whether or not it is necessary to update the control setting values for controlling the air-conditioning system 20 (Step 101). The evaluation at this time will be that updating of the control setting values is necessary if there has been a change in the boundary condition data 14A, the setting condition data 14B, or the target data 14C, or if a specific amount of time has elapsed since the last updating.

If the evaluation here is that updating is not necessary (Step 101: NO), then the reverse analysis portion 15B waits a specific amount of time (Step 104), and then returns to Step 100.

On the other hand, if the evaluation is that updating is necessary (Step 101: YES), then the reverse analysis portion 15B reads out, from the storing portion 14, the boundary condition data 14A, the setting condition data 14B, and the target data 14C, obtained from the data inputting portion 15A, and performs reverse analysis, using the distributed system heat flow analysis technique, to estimate, and output as control setting value data 14D, the supply air temperature and supply air flow rate for the various air-conditioners 22 that are provided within the air-conditioned space 30, as control setting values for controlling the air-conditioned space 30 to the target air-conditioning environment (Step 102).

Following this, the air-conditioning instructing portion 15C sends, to the air-conditioning system 20, through the communication I/F portion 11, control setting values that are included in the control setting value data 14D obtained from the reverse analyzing portion 15B (Step 103), and then terminates the air-conditioning controlling process.

FIG. 5 is results of a simulation illustrating air-conditioning controlling operations according to the present disclosure. Here the change in room temperature within the air-conditioned space as a function of time is shown for a case wherein the air-conditioning in an adjacent room is stopped, in the summertime, and the temperature in the adjacent room rises sharply. In this case, aside from the boundary data, the setting condition data and the target data are held constant, where the room temperature setting for the air-conditioned space is held constant at 26° C.

In FIG. 5, curve 51 shows the change in room temperature over time for the conventional case wherein the adjacent room temperature and the outside air temperature are used as the boundary condition data, and curve 52 shows the change in room temperature over time in a case according to the present invention wherein the surface temperatures of the inside walls, ceilings, and floors within the air-conditioned space are used as the boundary condition data.

With curve 51, the room temperature within the air-conditioned space first drops to about 21° C., in response to the increase in the adjacent room temperature, and then returns to the original room temperature. Consequently, it is understood that it was not possible to maintain the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space in a suitable state, causing the people within the air-conditioned space to experience discomfort that cannot be ignored, and producing a large energy loss.

On the other hand, in curve 52 the temperature within the air-conditioned space is maintained at about the temperature setting value of 26° C. despite the increase in temperature in the adjacent room. This shows that it is possible to maintain the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space in a suitable state, and it is understood that not only are the people within the air-conditioned space comfortable, but the energy loss is also prevented.

In this way, in the present example the data inputting portion 15A obtains surface temperatures of the boundary members that structure the air-conditioned space 30, measured within the air-conditioned space 30, and the reverse analysis portion 15B performs reverse analysis of the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space 30 based on the setting condition data 14B that indicate the structure of the air-conditioned space 30 and the boundary condition data 14A that indicate the effect on the air-conditioning environment within the air-conditioned space, including surface temperatures, to thereby estimate the control setting values for controlling the air-conditioned space 30 to the target air-conditioning environment, and the air-conditioning instructing portion 15C sends the control setting values, estimated by the reverse analysis portion 15B, to the air-conditioning system 20.

Because the surface temperatures of the boundary members that structure the air-conditioned space are used as the boundary condition data 14A, this makes it possible to estimate the control setting values, which are to be sent to the air-conditioning system 20, based on the thermal effects that arrive at the wall surfaces through the boundary members of the air-conditioned space 30 from the adjacent rooms or outside world.

As a result, no mismatch will occur between the boundary condition data and the influence from the outside that is actually experienced by the air-conditioned space, such as in the conventional estimation of control setting values using adjacent room temperatures or outside air temperatures. Because of this, it is possible to maintain the air-conditioning environment in a suitable state even when there are large variations in the temperatures of the adjacent spaces that are adjacent to the air-conditioned space.

Expanded Examples

While the present disclosure was explained above in reference to examples, the present disclosure is not limited by the examples set forth above. The structures and details of the present disclosure may be modified in a variety of ways, as can be understood by those skilled in the art, within the scope of the present disclosure.