We analyze the advantages of solving building energy management problems with the techniques of optimal control. Our approach consists of describing the dynamic behavior of a heated building with a simple model and controlling the whole system by minimizing a criterion defined for a time horizon of a few days. The two control components are the heat delivered to the building, and the variable heat exchange through the building envelope. In Part I, input (control and meteorological data) and output (indoor temperature) are related through a simplified state-space representation of the building. Part II is devoted to the actual computation of the control input. Results are given for two categories of buildings: The first is characterized by important direct solar gains. The inside structure is of low thermal inertia and so is the heating system. The second type of building is well insulated, with less glazing and less solar gain. The heavy internal structure of the building and the distribution of heat give a large thermal inertia to the system.

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