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Control of a Solar Furnace using MPC with Integral Action

Abstract : Solar furnaces are devices employed in high temperature material stress tests that use concentrated solar energy. This process has a nonlinear dynamics caused by a fourth power temperature term and by the nonlinear behavior of the shutter. Sun power variability due to weather conditions may affect the operation of a solar furnace if it is not compensated by adjusting the shutter aperture. The contribution of this paper is to explore and to evaluate the application of model predictive control with integral action to a nonlinear process. Off-line identification is employed to characterize the temperature dynamics. This methodology avoids the use of online adaptation mechanisms that may cause stability problems during temperature stress tests that may melt the material sample. The aim is to design a controller with a good performance, able to track the temperature cycling profile without overshooting to avoid melting the material sample. Active cooling is also explored to improve the temperature tracking during the decrease of the temperature profile. Experimental results obtained from the closed loop control of the plant are presented.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 6, 2017 - 6:01:58 PM
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Bertinho A.Costa, Joao M.Lemos, Emmanuel Guillot. Control of a Solar Furnace using MPC with Integral Action. IFAC-PapersOnLine, Elsevier, 2016, 49 (7), pp. 961-966. ⟨10.1016/j.ifacol.2016.07.326⟩. ⟨hal-01484101⟩



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