ADRENALIN 2023: Smart building HVAC control challenge


Buildings account for a significant portion of global energy consumption, the bulk of it for heating and cooling, and reducing energy use in buildings is critical to meeting global emissions reduction targets.  

With introduction of more renewables and electrification of heating systems and the mobility sector, the strain on the energy grids is drastically increased. However, buildings also have a large potential for flexibility thanks to their slow thermal inertia. Consequently, buildings offer the potential to be one of the lowest cost opportunities for providing the flexible demand needed to support increasing levels of variable renewable energy resources in electricity grids. 

To release this flexibility potential, smart control algorithms, that can respond to external signals, such as price variations, are needed. However, implementation of smart control algorithms in buildings are a time consuming and costly task. Evaluation of control algorithms in a simplified virtual environment to identify the most promising concepts are needed. 

The Smart building HVAC control challenge aims to efficient and scalable control algorithms that can be applied in commercial buildings to reduce energy consumption and release their flexibility potential. 

Problem statement

The development and implantation of smart control algorithms is a complex task that requires development of scalable, transferable and efficient solutions. This competition seeks to address this challenge by promoting development and benchmarking of various control strategy approaches, that are applicable for implementation in real buildings. 

The competition will challenge participants to develop scalable, efficient, and effective algorithms that can release the flexibility potential in building HVAC systems, while taking the following key challenges into account:

  • Activation of flexibility: The challenge will focus on controllers ability to activate the building HVAC system’s flexibility potential based on variable cost signals, while not compromising indoor air quality.

  • Scalability: Many smart control algorithms require a lot of individual adaption for implementation in different buildings. This is time and cost intensive, and makes it less profitable to install. The competition will promote solutions that are scalable from an implementation perspective.


The competition will be performed using the BOPTEST framework ( New emulators specifically designed for the competition will be released for the launching of the competition.

Detailed description off the emulators will be published before the competition.


Coming Soon!

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation will be two-folded. 

  1. Objective evaluation based on KPIs in the BOPTEST framework. A single number will be calculated based weighting of the different KPIs. The full equation will be published before the competition. 
  2. Subjective evaluation taking into account the complexity of the control, data requirement and scalability. As part of the submission, the participant will be asked to document their control algorithm. A template for this will be published before the release of the competition.  

More details coming Soon! 


    The Timeline will be announced in the third quarter of 2023!


    Coming Soon!


    To ensure that the competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner, and that all participants should hold to a high standard of conduct:

    • Respect: Participants are expected to treat others with respect, regardless of their background, identity, or affiliation.
    • Honesty: Participants are expected to be honest and truthful in their submissions, and not to plagiarize or copy the work of others.
    • Integrity: Participants are expected to maintain the integrity of the competition and not engage in any activity that could compromise the fairness or accuracy of the results.
    • Confidentiality: Participants are expected to keep the data provided for the competition confidential and not to share it with others.
    • Legal Compliance: Participants are expected to comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards.
    • Consequences: Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in disqualification or other sanctions, as determined by the competition organizers.


    AES Innovation (Turkey), Akademiska Hus (Sweden), Kiona (Norway), ReMoni (Denmark), SYNAVISION GmbH (Germany)