The utilisation of electronic control systems in thermal plants is now well established. The attention of producers and designers is constantly addressed to the setting-up of regulation schemes always more refined and complex. However, this evolution has not been followed by a corresponding evolution of the design criteria. For example, to predict the behaviour of a plant, even if simple but constrained to sophisticated regulation schemes, the opportunities given by the traditional design criteria, consisting on the analysis of a finite, and often limited, number of steady situations, are no more adequate but it is necessary to study the plant as a dynamic system. In the present paper a computer code is used to analyse a typical thermal plant under a periodic variation of the external temperature. Furthermore, the interactions between the control system and the over-sizing of the components of the thermal plant are analysed. It is shown how a proper design of the control system can be useful to operate the thermal plant efficiently, reduce the energy consumption and keep the people comfortable.
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