8. Documentation of Control Sequences

8.1. Introduction

This section describes how to generate a control sequence description based on a CDL specification.

There are two distinct situations:

  1. The control sequence could be from a publication such as ASHRAE Guideline 36 for which a Microsoft Word version exists, or

  2. The control sequence could be for a sequence that only exists in CDL.

The approach for 1. is currently being developed. Approach 2 is described in Section 8.3.

8.2. Editing a Sequence that is Specified in a Word Document

This is currently being specified and will be added later.

8.3. Exporting the Control Logic from a CDL Model

This section describes how a English language description of a sequence could be exported from the CDL implementation. This will allow developers and users to build libraries of control sequences for which an English language specification can be exported without having to have a template Word document (which generally does not exist for this use case).

Two different representations will be supported:

  1. Specifications for sequences of operations. These specifications expresses the intent of the designer for the sequence. They contain text in the form of requirements, such as “The room temperature shall be maintained between …”. Such requirements leave room for different interpretations and resulting implementations of the control inputs and outputs, and the control logic, thereby making verification as in Section 11.7 impractical. It also risk that the sequences do not satisfy the designer’s intent. However, if encoded in a library that has been tested, the control sequence can be specified more precise.

  2. Documentation of the as-implemented sequences. These typically serve the operator, and may contain text such as “The controller tracks the room temperature set point by …”. This type of formulation is also what is typically used to document the implementation of sequences in the Modelica Buildings Library.

Control sequences of the form 1) typically contain additional requirements that are not part of the sequence description, such as what energy code to follow. Such information can however be included in a section that precedes or follows the actual sequence implementation. Thus, the here described export will document only the sequences, which can then be combined with these other documentation.

To export sequence specifications of the form 1), we introduce a new optional annotation annotation(__CDL(SequenceSpecification(info=STRING))) where STRING is an html formatted string that contains the sequence specification. E.g., the annotation is in the same format as the CDL annotation annotation(Documentation(info=STRING). The new optional annotation is introduced solely for the purpose that in the buildings industry, control specifications use a different form than what is usually used in Modelica, i.e., to address the differences between 1) and 2) above. I.e., Modelica documentation describe what a sequence does, whereas for sequence specifications, the sequence description must follow the structure dictated by the Construction Specification Institute (CSI) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) because they become legal documents.

How to generate the sequence description that can be inserted into these construction documents is described using a small example. Consider the model Buildings.ThermalZones.EnergyPlus_9_6_0.Examples.SingleFamilyHouse.RadiantHeatingCooling_TSurface. This model has two sequences, one for the radiant heating and one for the radiant cooling. These two sequences are described in Buildings.Controls.OBC.RadiantSystems.Heating.HighMassSupplyTemperature_TRoom and in Buildings.Controls.OBC.RadiantSystems.Cooling.HighMassSupplyTemperature_TRoomRelHum using html format.

To export sequences from these models, modelica-json will need to generate a Microsoft Word document using the following procedure.

  1. Read the top-level Modelica file and extract each block that is in the package Buildings.Controls.OBC. Put the names of these blocks in a list.

  2. Remove from this list all blocks that are in Buildings.Controls.OBC.CDL. (These are are elementary blocks that need not be documented.)

  3. Read the top-level Modelica file and extract all blocks that contain in their class definition the annotation __cdl(document=true). Add these blocks to the list. (This will allow users to add composite control blocks that will be documented.)

  4. For each block in the list.

    1. If the block contains a section annotation(__CDL(SequenceSpecification(info=STRING))), use the value of this section as the sequence documentation of this block. Goto step d).

    2. If the block contains a section annotation(Documentation(info=STRING)), write a warning that this block will be documented with as-implemented description rather than a sequence specification as no control sequence specification has been found, and use the value of this section as the sequence documentation of this block. Goto step d).

    3. Issue a warning that this block contains no control sequence description and proceed to the next block.

    4. In the sequence description of this block, for each parameter that is in the description, add the value and units. For example, an entry such as ... between <code>TSupSetMin</code> and <code>TSupSetMax</code> based on ... becomes ... between <code>TSupSetMin</code> (=20&deg; adjustable) and <code>TSupSetMax</code> (=40&deg; adjustable) based on .... Note that the word “adjustable” must not be added if the parameter value is declared as final. Proceed to the next block.

  5. Collect the descriptions of each block and output it in a Word document. Configure the Word document to have automatic section numbering.

As an example, consider the following snippet of a composite control block.

HighMassSupplyTemperature_TRoom con(TSubSet_max=303.15, final TSubSet_min=293.15);

block HighMassSupplyTemperature_TRoom
  "Room temperature controller for radiant heating with constant mass flow and variable supply temperature"

   parameter Real TSupSet_max(
     final unit="K",
     displayUnit="degC") "Maximum heating supply water temperature";
   parameter Real TSupSet_min(
     final unit="K",
     displayUnit="degC") = 293.15 "Minimum heating supply water temperature";

   parameter Controls.OBC.CDL.Types.SimpleController
     controllerType = Buildings.Controls.OBC.CDL.Types.SimpleController.P
     "Type of controller" annotation (Dialog(group="Control gains"));

   ... [omitted]

         Controller for a radiant heating system.
         The controller tracks the room temperature set point <code>TRooSet</code> by
         adjusting the supply water temperature set point <code>TSupSet</code> linearly between
         <code>TSupSetMin</code> and <code>TSupSetMax</code>

         PI-controller likely saturate due to the slow system response.
             Controller for a radiant heating system.
             The controller shall track the room temperature set point by
             adjusting the supply water temperature set point <code>TSupSet</code> linearly between
             <code>TSupSetMin</code> and <code>TSupSetMax</code>
             based on the output signal of the proportional controller.
             The pump shall be either off or be operating at full speed, in which case <code>yPum = 1</code>.
             The pump control shall be based on a hysteresis that switches the pump on when the output of the
             proportional controller <code>y</code> exceeds <i>0.2</i>, and the pump shall be commanded off when the output falls
             below <i>0.1</i>. See figure below for the control charts.
             <p align="center">
             <img alt="Image of control output"
             <-- cdl(visible=(not (controllerType is final))) or controllerType <> CDL.Types.SimpleController.P -->
             For systems with high thermal mass, this controller should be left configured
             as a P-controller, which is the default setting.
             PI-controller likely saturate due to the slow system response.
             <-- end cdl -->
end HighMassSupplyTemperature_TRoom;

For this control block, modelica-json will produce content for the Word description that looks like

“The controller shall track the room temperature set point by adjusting the supply water temperature set point TSupSet linearly between TSupSetMin (\(=20^\circ\)) and TSupSetMax (\(=30^\circ\) adjustable) based on the output signal of the proportional controller…”

modelica-json will remove the notice at the end of the sequence description if the controllerType is declared as final (because then, no other choice can be made). Through this mechanism, sections and images can be removed or enabled in the generated sequence description.

To use IP units, modelica-json will have a configuration that specifies what units should be used. The documentation will also include the figure as declared in the CDL specification.

The Control Sequence Selection and Configuration tool could make the section annotation(__CDL(SequenceSpecification(info=STRING))) editable, thereby allowing users to customize the description of the sequence and add any other desired documentation.