Publication | Peer reviewed papers |

MIMO state feedback control for redundantly-actuated LiBr/H O absorption heat pumping devices and experimental validation

Staudt S, Unterberger V, Muschick D, Gölles M, Horn M, Wernhart M, Rieberer R

Published 2023

Copyright: Open Access

Citation: Staudt S, Unterberger V, Muschick D, Gölles M, Horn M, Wernhart M, Rieberer R. MIMO state feedback control for redundantly-actuated LiBr/H2O absorption heat pumping devices and experimental validation. Control Engineering Practice.2023:140.105661.


Absorption heat pumping devices (AHPDs, comprising absorption heat pumps and chillers) use mainly thermal energy instead of electricity as the driving energy to provide resource-efficient heating and cooling when using waste heat or renewable heat sources. Despite this benefit, AHPDs are still not a very common technology due to their complexity. However, better modulation and part-load capability, which can be achieved through advanced control strategies, can simplify the use of AHPDs and help to better integrate them into complex energy systems. Therefore, this paper presents a new, dynamic model-based control approach for single-stage AHPDs that can extend an AHPD’s operating range by employing multi-input-multi-output (MIMO) control methods. The control approach can be used for different AHPD applications and thus control configurations, i.e., different combinations of manipulated and controlled variables, and can also be used for redundantly-actuated configurations with more manipulated than controlled variables. It consists of an observer for the state variables and unknown disturbances, a state feedback controller and, in case of redundantly-actuated configurations, a dynamic control allocation algorithm. The proposed control approach is experimentally validated with a representative AHPD for two different control configurations and compared to two benchmark control approaches – single-input-single-output (SISO) PI control representing the state-of-the-art, and model-predictive control (MPC) as an alternative advanced control concept. The experimental validation shows that the two MIMO control approaches (the proposed state feedback and the MPC approach) allow for a wider operating range and hence better part load capability compared to the SISO PI control approach. While MPC generally results in a comparably high computational effort due to the necessity of continuously solving an optimization problem, the proposed state feedback control approach is mathematically simple enough to be implemented on a conventional programmable logic controller. It is therefore considered a promising new control approach for AHPDs with the ability to extend their operating range and improve their part load capability, which in turn facilitates their implementation and thus the use of sustainable heat sources in heating and cooling systems.

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