This paper studies the performance of a fractional-order proportional integral derivative (FOPID) controller designed for parabolic distributed solar collectors. The control problem addressed in concentrated solar collectors aims at forcing the produced heat to follow a desired reference despite the unevenly varying solar irradiance. In addition to the unpredictable variations of the energy source, the parabolic solar collectors are subject to inhomogeneous distributed efficiency parameters affecting the heat production. The FOPID controller is well known for its simplicity with better tuning flexibility along with robustness with respect to disturbances. Thus, we propose a control strategy based on FOPID to achieve the control objectives. First, the FOPID controller is designed based on a linear approximate model describing the system dynamics under nominal working conditions. Then, the FOPID gains and differentiation orders are optimally tuned in order to fulfill the robustness design specifications by solving a nonlinear optimization problem. Numerical simulations are carried out to evaluate the performance of the proposed FOPID controller. A comparison to the robust integer order PID is also provided. Robustness tests are performed for the nominal model to show the effectiveness of the FOPID. Furthermore, the proposed FOPID is numerically tested to control the distributed solar collector under real working conditions.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||IEEE Africon 2017 Proceedings|
|Publisher||Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Sep 2017|