Date: 11/10/2011

Author: José David Rojas Fernández.

Tittle: Extensions and application of the Virtual Reference Feedback Tuning.

Director: Ramón Vilanova Arbós


In this work the data-driven control technique "Virtual Reference Feedback Tuning" is treated in different ways. In one hand, the capabilities of the method are extended with several proposed variations that allow a wider use of the method. An alternative two degrees of freedom control topology is considered, as well as its application to proportional-integral control. The multiple-inputs multiple-outputs case is also tackled, adding an automatic pairing selection between outputs and manipulated variables. The method is applied to the Internal Model Control topology in order to proposed a robust stability test based entirely on data.

All these extensions were applied to three important cases. In first place, the control of wastewater treatment plants is considered. The control objective in this case is to maintain the effluent of the plant with a low concentration of pollutants while trying to consume as less energy as possible. Both the multiple-inputs multiple-outputs and the decentralized case are used, yielding good results for this complex system. Second, the pairing selection is applied to a solid-oxide fuel cell plant. The output voltage and the oxygen excess is  controlled by manipulating the fuel and the air flow rates. Finally the two degrees of freedom controllers are applied to a pH neutralization  plant by controlling the acid flow rate.

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