Identification of low order models for large scale processes

S.K. Wattamwar

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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Many industrial chemical processes are complex, multi-phase and large scale in nature. These processes are characterized by various nonlinear physiochemical effects and fluid flows. Such processes often show coexistence of fast and slow dynamics during their time evolutions. The increasing demand for a flexible operation of a complex process, a pressing need to improve the product quality, an increasing energy cost and tightening environmental regulations make it rewarding to automate a large scale manufacturing process. Mathematical tools used for process modeling, simulation and control are useful to meet these challenges. Towards this purpose, development of process models, either from the first principles (conservation laws) i.e. the rigorous models or the input-output data based models constitute an important step. Both types of models have their own advantages and pitfalls. Rigorous process models can approximate the process behavior reasonably well. The ability to extrapolate the rigorous process models and the physical interpretation of their states make them more attractive for the automation purpose over the input-output data based identified models. Therefore, the use of rigorous process models and rigorous model based predictive control (R-MPC) for the purpose of online control and optimization of a process is very promising. However, due to several limitations e.g. slow computation speed and the high modeling efforts, it becomes difficult to employ the rigorous models in practise. This thesis work aims to develop a methodology which will result in smaller, less complex and computationally efficient process models from the rigorous process models which can be used in real time for online control and dynamic optimization of the industrial processes. Such methodology is commonly referred to as a methodology of Model (order) Reduction. Model order reduction aims at removing the model redundancy from the rigorous process models. The model order reduction methods that are investigated in this thesis, are applied to two benchmark examples, an industrial glass manufacturing process and a tubular reactor. The complex, nonlinear, multi-phase fluid flow that is observed in a glass manufacturing process offers multiple challenges to any model reduction technique. Often, the rigorous first principle models of these benchmark examples are implemented in a discretized form of partial differential equations and their solutions are computed using the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) numerical tools. Although these models are reliable representations of the underlying process, computation of their dynamic solutions require a significant computation efforts in the form of CPU power and simulation time. The glass manufacturing process involves a large furnace whose walls wear out due to the high process temperature and aggressive nature of the molten glass. It is shown here that the wearing of a glass furnace walls result in change of flow patterns of the molten glass inside the furnace. Therefore it is also desired from the reduced order model to approximate the process behavior under the influence of changes in the process parameters. In this thesis the problem of change in flow patterns as result of changes in the geometric parameter is treated as a bifurcation phenomenon. Such bifurcations exhibited by the full order model are detected using a novel framework of reduced order models and hybrid detection mechanisms. The reduced order models are obtained using the methods explained in the subsequent paragraphs. The model reduction techniques investigated in this thesis are based on the concept of Proper Orthogonal Decompositions (POD) of the process measurements or the simulation data. The POD method of model reduction involves spectral decomposition of system solutions and results into arranging the spatio-temporal data in an order of increasing importance. The spectral decomposition results into spatial and temporal patterns. Spatial patterns are often known as POD basis while the temporal patterns are known as the POD modal coefficients. Dominant spatio-temporal patterns are then chosen to construct the most relevant lower dimensional subspace. The subsequent step involves a Galerkin projection of the governing equations of a full order first principle model on the resulting lower dimensional subspace. This thesis can be viewed as a contribution towards developing the databased nonlinear model reduction technique for large scale processes. The major contribution of this thesis is presented in the form of two novel identification based approaches to model order reduction. The methods proposed here are based on the state information of a full order model and result into linear and nonlinear reduced order models. Similar to the POD method explained in the previous paragraph, the first step of the proposed identification based methods involve spectral decomposition. The second step is different and does not involve the Galerkin projection of the equation residuals. Instead, the second step involves identification of reduced order models to approximate the evolution of POD modal coefficients. Towards this purpose, two different methods are presented. The first method involves identification of locally valid linear models to represent the dynamic behavior of the modal coefficients. Global behavior is then represented by ‘blending’ the local models. The second method involves direct identification of the nonlinear models to represent dynamic evolution of the model coefficients. In the first proposed model reduction method, the POD modal coefficients, are treated as outputs of an unknown reduced order model that is to be identified. Using the tools from the field of system identification, a blackbox reduced order model is then identified as a linear map between the plant inputs and the modal coefficients. Using this method, multiple local reduced LTI models corresponding to various working points of the process are identified. The working points cover the nonlinear operation range of the process which describes the global process behavior. These reduced LTI models are then blended into a single Reduced Order-Linear Parameter Varying (ROLPV) model. The weighted blending is based on nonlinear splines whose coefficients are estimated using the state information of the full order model. Along with the process nonlinearity, the nonlinearity arising due to the wear of the furnace wall is also approximated using the RO-LPV modeling framework. The second model reduction method that is proposed in this thesis allows approximation of a full order nonlinear model by various (linear or nonlinear) model structures. It is observed in this thesis, that, for certain class of full order models, the POD modal coefficients can be viewed as the states of the reduced order model. This knowledge is further used to approximate the dynamic behavior of the POD modal coefficients. In particular, reduced order nonlinear models in the form of tensorial (multi-variable polynomial) systems are identified. In the view of these nonlinear tensorial models, the stability and dissipativity of these models is investigated. During the identification of the reduced order models, the physical interpretation of the states of the full order rigorous model is preserved. Due to the smaller dimension and the reduced complexity, the reduced order models are computationally very efficient. The smaller computation time allows them to be used for online control and optimization of the process plant. The possibility of inferring reduced order models from the state information of a full order model alone i.e. the possibility to infer the reduced order models in the absence of access to the governing equations of a full order model (as observed for many commercial software packages) make the methods presented here attractive. The resulting reduced order models need further system theoretic analysis in order to estimate the model quality with respect to their usage in an online controller setting.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Backx, Ton, Promotor
  • Weiland, Siep, Copromotor
Award date8 Feb 2010
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-90-386-2154-8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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