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Integrated Design of Control Actuator Layer and Economic Model Predictive Control for Nonlinear Processes


In the present work, an economic model predictive control (EMPC) system is designed that accounts for the dynamics of the control actuators. A combined process-actuator dynamic model is developed to describe the process and control actuator dynamics and is used within the EMPC system. Integrating the design of the regulatory control layer, which controls the control actuators, and the supervisory control layer consisting of an EMPC system is an important consideration given the fact that EMPC may force an unsteady-state operating policy to optimize the process economics and the dynamics of the control actuator layer may affect the closed-loop process-actuator dynamics. Moreover, integral or average input constraints are often imposed within the EMPC solution. However, if the actuator layer is not accounted for in the EMPC system, the actuator output trajectory may not satisfy the integral input constraints. To address closed-loop stability of the combined process-actuator closed-loop system, stability constraints, designed via Lyapunov-based techniques, are imposed on the EMPC problem to guarantee closed-loop stability of the process system under the EMPC. An EMPC system accounting for the control actuator dynamics is applied to a benchmark chemical process example to study the impact of the actuator dynamics on closed-loop economic performance and reactant material constraint satisfaction.

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