Prediction of occupancy level and energy consumption in office building using blind system identification and neural networks

Yixuan Wei, Liang Xia, Song Pan, Jinshun Wu, Xingxing Zhang, Mengjie Han, Weiya Zhang, Jingchao Xie, Qingping Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Occupancy behaviour plays an important role in energy consumption in buildings. Currently, the shallow understanding of occupancy has led to a considerable performance gap between predicted and measured energy use. This paper presents an approach to estimate the occupancy based on blind system identification (BSI), and a prediction model of electricity consumption by an air-conditioning system is developed and reported based on an artificial neural network with the BSI estimation of the number of occupants as an input. This starts from the identification of indoor CO2 dynamics derived from the mass-conservation law and venting levels. The unknown parameters, including the occupancy and model parameters, are estimated by using a frequentist maximum-likelihood algorithm and Bayesian estimation. The second phase is to establish the prediction model of the electricity consumption of the air-conditioning system by using a feed-forward neural network (FFNN) and extreme learning machine (ELM), as well as ensemble models. To analyse some aspects of the benchmark test for identifying the effect of structure parameters and input-selection alternatives, three studies are conducted on (1) the effect of predictor selection based on principal component analysis, (2) the effect of the estimated occupancy as the supplementary input, and (3) the effect of the neural network ensemble. The result shows that the occupancy number, as the input, is able to improve the accuracy in predicting energy consumption using a neural-network model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-294
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Blind system identification (BSI)
  • Extreme learning machine
  • Feedforward neural network
  • Occupancy estimation
  • Prediction model for energy consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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