Nonlinear Identification & Control
with Solar Energy Applications

Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science & Technology, No. 73

By Linda Brus
March 2008
Uppsala University Press
Distributed By Coronet Books
ISBN: 9789155471422
192 pages, Illustrated, 6 1/2 x 9 1/2"
$59.50 Paper Original

Nonlinear systems occur in industrial processes, economical systems, biotechnology and in many other areas. The thesis treats methods for system identification and control of such nonlinear systems, and applies the proposed methods to a solar heating/cooling plant.

Two applications, an anaerobic digestion process and a domestic solar heating system are first used to illustrate properties of an existing nonlinear recursive prediction error identification algorithm. In both cases, the accuracy of the obtained nonlinear black-box models are comparable to the results of application specific grey-box models.

Next a convergence analysis is performed, where conditions for convergence are formulated. The results, together with the examples, indicate the need of a method for providing initial parameters for the nonlinear prediction error algorithm. Such a method is then suggested and shown to increase the usefulness of the prediction error algorithm, significantly decreasing the risk for convergence to suboptimal minimum points.

Next, the thesis treats model based control of systems with input signal dependent time delays. The approach taken is to develop a controller for systems with constant time delays, and embed it by input signal dependent resampling; the resampling acting as an interface between the system and the controller.

Finally a solar collector field for combined cooling and heating of office buildings is used to illustrate the system identification and control strategies discussed earlier in the thesis, the control objective being to control the solar collector output temperature. The system has nonlinear dynamic behavior and large flow dependent time delays. The simulated evaluation using measured disturbances confirm that the controller works as intended.

A significant reduction of the impact of variations in solar radiation on the collector outlet temperature is achieved, though the limited control range of the system itself prevents full exploitation of the proposed feedforward control. The methods and results contribute to a better utilization of solar power.

Technology; Science

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