Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Ron M. Nelson

Second Advisor

Michael B. Pate


A plug and play framework for an HVAC air handling unit control system is proposed in this study. This is the foundation and the first step towards the plug and play HVAC control system that will eventually lead to self-configuring of HVAC control systems for automatic building controls system set-up, commissioning, more robust HVAC system operations, and automatic detection and repair of potential controls problems. This framework is built on the commercially available smart transducers that are compatible with the IEEE 1451 family of standards, and a data acquisition system that can read and write the smart transducer information. As a proof of concept for the framework, a structural pattern recognition algorithm is developed to automatically recognize temperature sensors in an Air Handling Unit (AHU) at different locations. The algorithm can be a critical part of the self-configuring HVAC control system in establishing a binding list of control system input/output and automated assignment and verification of the binding list.

A prototype of the plug and play framework for an AHU was built. Experiments were designed, setup, and tested to automatically recognize eleven different temperature sensors at various AHU locations on two different AHUs. More than one hundred test cases were implemented at various initial conditions, environmental temperatures, and chilled water system configurations, to demonstrate the robustness of the pattern recognition algorithm.


Copyright Owner

Xiaohui Zhou



Date Available


File Format


File Size

228 pages