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Modelling the NIST IBAL



Adam J. Kopach, G. F. Nellis, David Bradley, Douglas T. Reindl, Amanda Pertzborn


The Intelligent Building Agents Laboratory (IBAL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be used to experimentally study control strategies within the realm of commercial building air-conditioning systems. A TRNSYS [1] model of the IBAL has been created to help guide the experiments in the IBAL and to provide a software-based method of evaluating control strategies implemented in this facility. This simulation model is composed of the various components comprising the IBAL system such as heating coils, cooling coils, fans and dampers that can accurately simulate the actual component behavior under transient and off- design conditions. Additionally, pressure and air flow throughout the system are simulated to support associated controls for modulating damper positions and fan speeds. The resulting system simulation is flexible; it is possible to study the expected IBAL system response to forcing functions such as weather and loads under the influence of planned control strategies. The initial controller included in the IBAL simulation model replicates the existing controls used in most commercial buildings. The resulting tool will be validated in the IBAL and will allow NIST to test alternate, advanced control strategies quickly, providing guidance for the experimental work.
Proceedings Title
6th International High Performance Buildings Conference at Purdue, May 24-28, 2021
Conference Dates
May 23-27, 2021
Conference Location
West Lafayette, IN, US
Conference Title
2020 Purdue Conferences: Compressor Engineering, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, High
Performance Buildings


Simulation, experimental validation, TRNSYS, controls, HVAC


Kopach, A. , Nellis, G. , Bradley, D. , Reindl, D. and Pertzborn, A. (2021), Modelling the NIST IBAL, 6th International High Performance Buildings Conference at Purdue, May 24-28, 2021, West Lafayette, IN, US (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created May 28, 2021, Updated September 28, 2022