Green approaches to process control in thermal rooms


A novel environmentally friendly approach is introduced to process control, where a fixed set point is not as appropriate as the energy expenditure of the plant as a consequence of a given controller. The more appropriate target for the controller is then to reduce the energy consumption as much as possible, while maintaining an acceptable level of the plant's target output. This change in the target (e.g., energy reduction or even minimization, which would be challenging even for nonlinear, adaptive, or intelligent controls), however, creates serious difficulties when formulating the problems in traditional control. Dynamical solutions to five control problems for thermal rooms (HVAC) and automotive vehicles are provided in the new approach that are shown to lead to more efficient and effective controllers, by as much as 80% and as little as 10% energy savings. This approach also allows users to specify controls in more intuitive or qualitative terms. Some implications and open problems are briefly discussed.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the 13th IASTED International Conference on Control and Applications, CA 2011